Matt Gemmell

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Tiered social media

business & briefly 1 min read

Twitter is experimenting with hiding ads from valuable users. Ostensibly, it makes sense: give the minority of “popular” (or whatever) users a nicer experience, because they drive engagement and keep everyone else coming back. Maybe it’s even motivation to get better at Twitter, whatever that means. Certainly, you don’t want influencers to complain about annoyances with your service, because lots of people are listening.

There are problems with that approach, the main one being the tacit admission that their ads are detrimental. If you’re rewarding people by reducing the hostility of their experience, maybe just fix the experience for everyone, and find something positive to charge for instead.

As ever, there’s also their continuing and worrying inability to directly monetise even the most committed users. I’m in the group that doesn’t see ads. I’d pay for Twitter if I could. It has real value for me, both socially and as a promotional tool. This latest move only increases my uncertainty about its future.