Twitter is reportedly looking at paid messages as a means to drive engagement and revenue, as the company struggles in the early days of the Musk era.
According to a report from the New York Times, a Twitter product team is working on paid DMs with a focus on “Very Important Tweeters, or V.I.T.s.” The information came from two people with knowledge of the work, who also shared internal documents with the Times.
The internal documents included mockups of the feature, which would allow Twitter users to DM their favourite celebrities for a fee. Twitter hasn’t settled on a fee structure, but it could be just a few dollars per DM.
A prototype shown to the Times depicted someone asking musician Post Malone about his favourite records. The paid DMs could appear in a special area of the message inbox, and celebrities could choose to receive them. The Times notes that Twitter likely would take a cut of the fee.
However, the people who shared details with the Times said that plans remain fluid and the feature might not even launch.
Musk has acknowledged that Twitter had “a massive drop in revenue” after advertisers pulled out, although he blamed it on pressure from “activist groups” despite causing turmoil on Twitter with mass layoffs and rapid feature changes.