Twitter is betting on a “cleaner” Internet.
Twitter is promising wider distribution of “clean content” for readers to jump-start its subscription model. The company is pinning its hopes on Scroll, a tool that “cleans” up article pages, by ridding them of pop-up ads and other “clutter”. Twitter expects to please readers frustrated by ads, while also satisfying publishers, who will be integrated into the revenue model.
Scroll’s model combines distribution of ad-free content for paying subscribers with revenue-sharing to entice publishers.
The ad-blocking start-up, which launched in 2018, introduced this combination of good journalism plus revenue for hundreds of U.S.-based sites, including big media players, such as the Atlantic, BuzzFeed, and Vox Media.
Subscriptions to Scroll were previously $5 per month, but the company will no longer accept new sign-ups as Twitter works on integrating it into its platform.
Twitter has not yet given extensive details about exactly how the change will look, but has been clear about why it made the acquisition.
“People come to Twitter every day to discover and read about what’s happening,” Mike Park, Twitter’s vice president for product, said in a blog post announcing the deal. “If Twitter is where so much of this conversation lives, it should be easier and simpler to read the content that drives it.”
Twitter, which is quickly becoming a publishing platform in its own right, says its subscription service will offer a set of reader-friendly premium features. Without leaving the site, subscribers will be able to read news from publishers participating in the partnership and read newsletters from Revue, which Twitter acquired in January. Part of their subscription fees will go to publishers, many of whom are now focusing on boosting subscriptions, rather than relying on ads.
This piece was originally published in The Fix and is re-published with permission. The Fix is a solutions-oriented publication focusing on the European media scene. Subscribe to its weekly newsletter here.