Twitter Won’t Fight Apple’s 30% Cut for ‘Super Follows’ In-App Purchases
After a period of stagnancy, Twitter recently came out and announced a complete aesthetic redesign, along with a slew of new features that will put the social network in contention with the likes of Clubhouse, Facebook and Instagram’s ‘Stories’ feature, Patreon, and even Substack.
In an interview with The Verge on Tuesday, Twitter’s Head of Consumer Product Kayvon Beykpour shed some light on how upcoming in-app purchases like ‘Super Follows’ will work on the platform.
‘Super Follows’ will allow users to support their favourite content creators by paying them a sum of money every month for ‘Super Follower’-specific content.
When asked how Twitter plans on making a feature like ‘Super Follows’ ultimately profitable for creators considering the flat 30% cut that goes directly to Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, as well as Twitter’s own costs, and how in-app purchases will work on web, the exec said:
Yeah. I mean, we haven’t announced or decided any of the specific numbers in terms of what the cuts are. But one important piece of context — and then we can jam on this specific question, I’m not dodging it — but the important piece of context here is, we are not… for Super Follows, our goal is not for Twitter to make money. Our goal is for creators to make money. I think Twitter may incidentally participate in the transaction in some way to sort of cover our cost, but our goal isn’t to maximize revenue.
There are transaction costs, be it the platforms or otherwise, that will need to be involved in that transaction. This is distinct, by the way, from other things we might do in the future, like a Twitter subscription. You’ve heard us talk about this. And the goal of that is very different. It’s not about empowering creators, necessarily. It’s about providing premium features for power users that let them do things that they can’t do with Twitter today. And so that’s a subtly different goal.
Beykpour was also asked if Twitter intends to try and negotiate the App Store and Play Store’s flat 30% cut of all in-app purchases down to put more money in the pockets of content creators. He answered Twitter will not be fighting the cut and would be accepting the fee associated with both app stores.
“So don’t get me wrong, I would love for that to be $9 instead of $7, but at the end of the day, that’s not something that we have direct influence over on one platform. So it’s not a focus for us right now,” said Beykpour.
With concerns over antitrust and anti-competitive behavior pertaining to payments processed through Apple’s App Store and other digital platforms mounting, many developers are looking for ways to skirt payment rules and come up with alternatives.
However, Beykpour said that he and the folks at Twitter are “not in the business of getting around platform rules”.