Twitter eyes subscription options as ad revenue dips

(UPDATED) CEO Jack Dorsey says this would likely be 'complementary' to Twitter's existing service

Twitter is eyeing to launch a subscription option as its ad revenue declines.

CEO Jack Dorsey said in an earnings call on Thursday, July 23, that this would likely be “complementary” to the social network’s existing service.

Dorsey said Twitter is “in the very early phases of exploring” a new offering and added that users will likely see some tests this year.

“We have a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter,” Dorsey said.

Like its rivals, Twitter offers free service while allowing brands to target ads to its users.

“We want to make sure any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business…. We do think there is a world where subscription is complementary, where commerce is complementary, where helping people manage paywalls…. we think is complementary,” Dorsey said, as cited in a CNN article.

Revenue decline, user growth

The company reported a net loss of $1.2 billion in the 2nd quarter, mostly due to funds set aside for income taxes.

It reported a revenue of $683 million, a 19% decline from the same period last year.

Ad revenue also dipped 15% over the last three weeks of June, but appeared to have rebounded since then.

The company said “many brands slowed or paused spend in reaction to US civil unrest” in May and June.

Despite this, Twitter grew its user base. A key metric for Twitter, the number of “monetizable” daily active users, reached 186 million in the 2nd quarter, up by 34% from last year.

“People continue to come to Twitter to learn about and participate in conversations focused on systemic racism, Black Lives Matters, COVID-19 and the reopening and reclosing of economies all around the world,” Dorsey said. – with reports from Agence France Presse/