Twitter Executive on Super Follows and Apple's Subscription Fees: 'We're Not in the Business of Getting Around Platform Rules'

Last month, Twitter announced "Super Follow," a new business model that will allow creators to charge users for exclusive content on the platform. To make it work, Twitter will enable users to pay creators, influencers, and others a set monthly price to become a "Super Follower" via an in-app purchase on iOS and Android.

Twitter Feature
Apple's in-app purchasing system, which gives the tech giant a 30% commission for purchases made within apps, has become the center of recent controversy. Companies such as Epic Games claim that the commission is "unfair" and that 30% is too high. Most notably, ‌Epic Games‌ in August of last year broke App Store rules by implementing its own direct payment method for in-app purchases within Fortnite, resulting in the game's removal from the platform.

In an interview with The Verge, Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter's head of consumer product, offered a different tone towards Apple's hotly disputed in-app purchasing system. In what could be an indirect snub to the actions of ‌Epic Games‌, Beykpour said that Twitter is "not in the business of getting around platform rules."

The way I would think of this in the context of Super Follows where we’re building this layer that didn’t exist before — even if that $10 comes down to $7 because of a 30 percent fee, that’s still $7 more than you’ve been able to make on Twitter than before.

So don’t get me wrong, I would love for that to be $9 instead of $7, but at the end of the day, that’s not something that we have direct influence over on one platform. So it’s not a focus for us right now. Our focus is to build the best possible experience that is good enough that people aren’t going to think about the cut.

Beykpour's answer came in response to a series of questions in which The Verge's editor-in-chief, Nilay Patel, attempted to get a specific answer on Twitter's thoughts about Apple's "30% tax." While Beykpour dodged providing a definitive answer on Twitter's viewpoint on the commission, he did say that it takes a "lot of cost and effort" to build an ecosystem and platform such as the App Store to accept payment methods.

In the larger picture, however, Beykpour said Twitter has no "direct influence over on one platform" and that if Twitter implements "Super Follow" correctly, then "good things will happen." Twitter has not offered a timeframe for when "Super Follow" will launch, but it's promising to share more information in the coming months.

Top Rated Comments

ruka.snow Avatar
21 months ago
Nice to see Twitter on the right side here, it is indeed $7 they never would have had before.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
21 months ago
Ugh, Twitter. Seriously, why can't we just pay a few bucks a month to get rid of all ads completely? I would be HAPPY to do that. I don't feel like paying for individuals' tweets. I just want to stop seeing ads every fourth tweet in my timeline.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Arsenikdote Avatar
21 months ago

TLDR: I agree with Twitter’s view on the App Store.

I think 30% is high given the scope and scale the App Store has grown to, but it’s still Apple’s platform, and you get a lot out of that 30%.

I think Epic has some good points, but I disagree with how they’ve gone about things. It seems unlikely to me that Apple has stuck with 30% out of greed... I believe there is some logical reason beyond simply profits they settled on that number and continue to do so. Even if that’s not the case, I still believe that while high, 30% is fair for what you get.
It is an interesting thought experiment...what is Apple had launched at 20% or 40%....would we be having the same conversation? Apple launched the App Store, and when they did, the industry was thrilled with only 30% because of the old distribution model costing so much more. Fast forward and now everyone is claiming it is "high". So would it really have mattered what number Apple started with? Would we have always ended up here? Who gets to decide what the "right" price is?

Some people might jump in with "the market would if Apple would let it", but you can point to other platforms that sell like Apple does and they are right in line with those.

Not saying this to to take a side, just super interesting how events have played out and an example where I wish we could peek into alternate universes to see if this same thing was happening at a different % :D

Hang on. They want users to pay to get access to content from influencers and such. They actually want people to pay for them to be advertised at! Insane.
The content creators would be allowed to push out whatever content they want under the subscription model. Since you pick to pay that creator, I would assume that if that creator was just pushing out advertisements to you, likely you would not choose to pay them. I would think the model is more centered around content creators creating content you are super interested in and willing to pay for.

Forget it. If Twitter users expect me to pay to read their blurb, they can F.O.

Twitter will lose a lot of users, I can see a U turn coming.
This is not a required thing. Each member can decide if content they create is something that is viewable by everyone or behind a paywall. Even if you follow someone who has a paywall, likely they will have some public tweets and some paywall tweets. Many people find ways of doing this outside of Twitter and then just tweet something that points others to that method. This just allows content creators an easier way to hosting customized content. I don't think Twitter will loose any followers, why would people leave?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
21 months ago
Twitter acting like the real social media king right now ?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Feyl Avatar
21 months ago

Ugh, Twitter. Seriously, why can't we just pay a few bucks a month to get rid of all ads completely? I would be HAPPY to do that. I don't feel like paying for individuals' tweets. I just want to stop seeing ads every fourth tweet in my timeline.
You can download apps like Tweetbot for that.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EdT Avatar
21 months ago

Forget it. If Twitter users expect me to pay to read their blurb, they can F.O.

Twitter will lose a lot of users, I can see a U turn coming.
I quit Twitter a number of years ago, but I realize that I am an outlier. Lots of people are quite willing to pay for social media. I don’t even know what is available but Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Google-whatever plus probably a dozen that I am unaware of are growing by leaps and bounds. Basically it’s Ego-Crack. Use a service and many people get hooked because it makes them seem a part of an exclusive group.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO: Judge's Decision 'Isn't a Win for Developers or for Consumers,' Fortnite Not Immediately Returning to App Store

Friday September 10, 2021 10:37 am PDT by
The year-long dispute between Epic Games and Apple reached a milestone with Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers delivering a middle-of-the road verdict that isn't quite what Epic Games or Apple wanted. Apple will not be required to support third-party app stores as Epic Games pushed for, but Apple will have to let developers offer "buttons, external links, or other calls to action" to direct customers to ...
twitter super follows

Twitter Launches Paid Super Follows, Creators Can Charge Up to $9.99/Month

Wednesday September 1, 2021 11:21 am PDT by
Twitter today announced the official launch of Super Follows, a new feature that allows creators to provide subscriber-only content that requires a paid fee to access. First introduced in February, Super Follow is another method that Twitter is using to monetize tweets and provide content creators with a way to earn money on the platform. Creators who use the Super Follow feature on...

Hands On: Testing Fortnite on iOS Using GeForce NOW

Thursday February 17, 2022 11:54 am PST by
Fortnite has been unavailable to play on the iPhone and iPad since Apple banned it from the App Store in August 2020 amid an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, but the battle royale game is coming back to iOS devices thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW gaming service. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. GeForce NOW is a browser-based gaming service that will allow iPhone ...
twitter downvote

Twitter Expands Downvote Button Test Worldwide

Friday February 4, 2022 4:01 am PST by
Twitter is globally expanding its testing of a new "dislike" or thumbs down button for tweets, which is designed to let people downvote replies on the social media platform. The company announced the global expansion of the test on Thursday, saying it had "learned a lot" about the downvoting option in its initial limited testing: We learned a lot about the types of replies you don't find...
Twitter Feature

Twitter Close Friends Feature in Beta Now Called 'Flock' With 150-Person Limit

Tuesday January 25, 2022 4:15 am PST by
Twitter continues to work on a new feature that lets users post certain tweets to a limited number of close friends in a parallel timeline on the social media platform. Previously floated in July 2021 as "Trusted Friends," the feature is now called "Flock," and will allow users to limit their audience for specific content to no more than 150 people, according to screens uncovered by mobile...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Lost Trial Due to Flawed Argument, Not Legal Error, Apple Says in Appeals Filing

Thursday March 24, 2022 3:32 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and today, the Cupertino company filed an opening brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Both Apple and Epic Games opted to appeal the original ruling in the Epic Games v. Apple case as neither company was satisfied with the outcome. Epic lost, while Apple was subject to App Store changes that are on hold pending ...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Apple to Collect 27% Commission on Third-Party App Payment Systems in the Netherlands

Friday February 4, 2022 3:16 am PST by
Apple says it will take 27% commission on purchases made in dating apps through third-party payment options in the Netherlands, in compliance with a Dutch regulatory ruling. In an update on its developer support site, Apple said it would collect 27% commission instead of its usual 30% on transactions made in dating apps that use alternative payment methods. Apple says the decreased...
fortnite apple logo south korea feature 1

Epic Games Asks Apple to Restore Fortnite in South Korea Following Ban on In-App Purchase Requirement [Update]

Thursday September 9, 2021 5:00 pm PDT by
Epic Games today said that it has asked Apple to reinstate its Fortnite developer account because it intends to release Fortnite in South Korea. South Korea in late August passed a bill that bans Apple from requiring developers to use its in-app purchase system. The bill forces Apple (and Google) to let developers use third-party payment methods to make purchases. Epic Games now says that ...

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...