In an effort to retain content creators amidst competition from Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads, Twitter unveiled an ad-sharing program on Thursday, distributing a substantial lump sum of approximately $5 million to eligible creators. Notifications of payouts quickly flooded in, with some creators earning tens of thousands of dollars for their cumulative earnings since February.
While this move has sparked excitement among content creators, gaining eligibility for the program is no easy feat. To qualify, creators must subscribe to Twitter Blue, which comes at a cost of $8 per month. Additionally, they must amass a minimum of five million tweet impressions per month for three consecutive months to have a chance at monetizing their content.
However, one individual who will undoubtedly maintain eligibility without difficulty is Elon Musk, the proprietor of Twitter’s most-followed account boasting nearly 150 million followers. Yet, despite his stature as the world’s wealthiest person, Musk has made it clear that he is not seeking personal financial gain from Twitter ads. In fact, he took a different approach with his initial payout.
Observing the revenue share amounts disclosed by many creators on Twitter, some users conducted basic calculations to estimate the relationship between tweet impressions and earnings. One user determined that earning $1 requires approximately 100,000 tweet impressions, $1,000 necessitates 100 million impressions, and $10,000 demands one billion impressions.
Between July 9 and July 14, Musk garnered roughly 420 million impressions solely from his tweets (excluding replies). However, he clarified that the payout does not directly correlate with tweet impressions. He explained, “It’s not exactly per impression. What matters is how many ads were shown to other verified users. Only verified users count, as it is otherwise trivial to game the system with bots.”
According to the New York Times, Twitter generated $88 million in ad revenue from April 1 to the first week of May, marking a nearly 60% decrease compared to the previous year. Considering this, the $5 million distributed over the past six months through the ad revenue share program constitutes a relatively small portion of the platform’s overall ad revenue.
While Twitter’s ad-sharing initiative demonstrates a commitment to supporting content creators, it remains essential for the platform to explore additional avenues for revenue generation. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, Twitter must strike a delicate balance between incentivizing creators and sustaining its financial viability.