What do you do when your tweet goes viral? For years, you'd post your SoundCloud, or make a joke about posting your SoundCloud. Going forward, you might ask for tips. Twitter announced a feature called Tip Jar, allowing users to send money through Cash App, PayPal, Venmo, Patreon or Bandcamp to their favorite creators on the service.
Twitter is trying hard to find ways for its most popular users to make money on the service, and Tip Jar is a natural place to start. Tipping is suddenly a table-stakes feature for social platforms, it seems; YouTube, Clubhouse, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram and others have all launched tipping features of some kind. They've discovered a surprising but clearly true fact: Fans want to support their favorite creators, even when the content is free.
show your love, leave a tip
now testing Tip Jar, a new way to give and receive money on Twitter 💸
For now, only a small number of users who use Twitter in English can accept tips, but Twitter said it plans to expand the group over time. Twitter doesn't take a cut of the money that moves on its platform. Its goal is clearly to give people reasons to share and create on the platform, because it knows that making that profitable is the easy part.
David Pierce (
@pierce) is Protocol's editor at large. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.