Twitter Launches Live Test of ‘Tip Jar’ to Enable On-Profile Donations

Twitter has launched the next phase of its creator payment program, with a live test of a new tip jar option on selected user profiles, which will enable individuals to collect payments from their audience, as a means to support their efforts. 

As you can see here, the new Tip Jar option, accessible via a cash icon at the top of eligible profiles, enables users to make payments to another user by connecting through to the payment provider of their choice.

As explained by Twitter:

We see you – sharing your PayPal link after your Tweet goes viral, adding your $Cashtag to your profile so people can support your work, dropping your Venmo handle on your birthday or if you just need some extra help. You drive the conversation on Twitter and we want to make it easier for you to support each other beyond Follows, Retweets, and Likes. Today, we’re introducing Tip Jar – a new way for people to send and receive tips.

The feature is in test mode at present, so not all users will be able to add it, but everybody using Twitter in English will be able to send tips to applicable accounts, on both iOS and Android.

Twitter says that the initial test pool for tipping will include ‘selected creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits’.

“You’ll know an account’s Tip Jar is enabled if you see a Tip Jar icon next to the Follow button on their profile page. Tap the icon, and you’ll see a list of payment services or platforms that the account has enabled. Select whichever payment service or platform you prefer and you’ll be taken off Twitter to the selected app where you can show your support in the amount you choose.”

The function supports payment via Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal and Venmo. Twitter is taking no cut of any donations at this stage.

For those who have access, here’s how to set up tip jar payments.

Twitter tip jar set up

The option has been in testing for some time, with Twitter showing a preview of the function, among various other creator revenue tools in development, at its recent Analyst Day showcase.

Variations of the on profile display for the option have also been spotted in testing:

Twitter Super Follow example

Providing more monetization options is now a key element in Twitter’s growth strategy, with the idea being that such tools will be able to help Twitter keep its top users tweeting more often, while also incentivizing them to build more reliance on the app.

This, ideally, will help Twitter to increase overall time spent within its app by keeping its most engaging voices more active, while its coming eCommerce and newsletter tools, among other functions, will also help to expand Twitter usage, and broaden its functionality.

Tipping has already proven popular on other platforms as a means for fans to show their support, and the more Twitter can start to change user behavior, and get people used to paying for things on-platform, the more it can start to shift habits, and make such process an accepted part of the in-app ecosystem. 

It’s an interesting experiment, if nothing else – and it’ll be interesting to see what Twitter users are actually willing to pay for, and whether all those followers you have are actually as interested in supporting you when it comes to real money changing hands.

If it works out, it could become a valuable addition for Twitter, and a solid revenue stream for top users, keeping their tweets flowing, and the app’s engagement stats humming along.

NOTE: Social engineering and hacking expert Rachel Tobac has highlighted a key issue when using PayPal for your Twitter tips, being that your full address, as listed on your PayPal account, will then be displayed to the receiver. Twitter has since clarified that it’s adding more prompts to ensure that users are aware of this. Worth noting if you are looking to give tips on the platform via PayPal.

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