Twitter’s New Subscription Metric: What It Means for Users
Twitter has quietly rolled out a new metric feature on its platform that shows exactly who users are paying to subscribe to. If a user pays to subscribe to a Twitter creator using the Subscriptions feature, a Subscriptions metric will appear on their profile alongside their Following and Followers count. This move is certainly interesting, especially since Twitter owner Elon Musk has been promoting the Subscriptions feature pretty prominently in recent months.
As of May 24, Elon Musk subscribes to 75 users via Twitter’s Subscriptions feature. Among the accounts he’s subscribed to include a few meme accounts, a handful of Tesla fan accounts, and a multitude of right-wing personalities such as LibsofTikTok, Ian Miles Cheong, and the conservative “satire” website The Babylon Bee. However, based on dozens of Twitter accounts viewed by Mashable, Musk’s 75 subscriptions appear to be a major outlier if not the outright most creators that a single user has subscribed to.
Another issue with this new metric is that there doesn’t appear to be a way to opt-out of showing who a user subscribes to. Twitter does provide this option when it comes to the subscriber label that shows up when a user replies to a tweet from a creator to whom they are subscribed. And being that the metric was suddenly added, it seems possible that some users were caught off-guard at sharing that they’ve subscribed to accounts that they don’t necessarily want publicized.
For example, Twitter’s subscription-based features have proven to be quite popular with sex workers. Twitter users who subscribe to their favorite adult-oriented accounts may not want that information publicly showcased on their profile page. One surprising subscription that Mashable came across showed that “resistance” liberal influencer Ed Krassenstein was paying to subscribe to right-wing commentator Tomi Lahren’s account.
It appears like the major privacy issues have been pushed aside in order to get this metric out in hopes that it will promote the Subscription feature. Yet the new Subscriptions metric seems to just showcase that another one of Musk’s subscription-based Twitter features has struggled to take off.
Twitter’s Subscriptions feature allows users to pay a monthly fee to their favorite Twitter creators in exchange for exclusive, paywalled tweets. The feature is not new, as it has existed since 2021 as “Super Follows,” but has taken new prominence as “Subscriptions” on the platform as Twitter owner Elon Musk has focused on growing subscription-based services.
Making this metric public is a bold move from Twitter, especially since it could potentially alienate some users who don’t want their subscriptions publicized. However, it could also be a way for Twitter to encourage more users to subscribe to their favorite creators and grow its subscription-based services.
Overall, the new Subscriptions metric on Twitter is an interesting development that could have both positive and negative implications for users. It remains to be seen how users will react to this new feature and whether it will ultimately help or hurt Twitter’s subscription-based services.