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Twitter May Be Looking at a Premium Tier

By Danny Vena – Jul 8, 2020 at 2:30PM

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A job posting implies that a subscription plan is in the works.

Twitter (TWTR 0.29%) has revealed in a job listing that it is building a subscription platform using the code name Gryphon and is looking for a "full-stack engineer to lead the Payment and Subscription client work." 

"We are building a subscription platform, one that can be reused by other teams in the future," Twitter said in the job posting. "This is a first for Twitter! Gryphon is a team of web engineers who are closely collaborating with the Payments team and the team."

People checking their cellphones.

Image source: Getty Images.

Another job posting, which is no longer accepting applications, added that "the team will be collaborating to rebuild some of Twitter's services to produce a subscription management platform" and that "the Payments platform is a cross organizational collaboration between different teams at Twitter." 

It isn't clear exactly how the company plans to implement a subscription service and what could potentially be included with such an offering. But investors are reacting favorably to the idea. As of 1:50 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Twitter shares were up 7.7%.

Twitter currently generates about 85% of its revenue from advertising on its platform, with the remainder coming from data licensing and "other" sources. Adding a subscription tier would be another way for the company to boost revenue and reduce its heavy reliance on advertising.

Plans for a subscription service may have been in the works for as long as two years. Twitter user surveys from early 2017 suggested it was considering a premium offering. It implied that advanced features, which would be contained in the TweetDeck, could include advanced analytics, breaking news, and a summary of what an account holder's followers were Tweeting about. 

"We're conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of TweetDeck," a spokesperson said at the time. "We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people's Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we're exploring several ways to make TweetDeck even more valuable for professionals."

Danny Vena has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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