Twitter has recently introduced the long awaited arrival of ticketed spaces, a sort of quasi Frankenstein product that is a cross between Patreon and Clubhouse (of, if you want to be cynical, a direct rip off from the Clubhouse Paid Rooms feature). Creators who are managing a ticketed space will be able to set a number of tickets and the cost of those tickets for people to attend, with Twitter taking a small fee while creators pocket the majority of the funds.
Twitter has had a tumultuous relationship with shareholders over the years, posting 8 years in the red compared to two in the black over the last 10, and at many junctures questions have been raised over the viability of the platform. The most recent set of results in their Q2 earnings suggests once again an optimistic outlook with net income of $66m, so perhaps things are looking up again for one of the world’s oldest social media platforms?
So is the ticketed spaces feature an unlocked cash cow for Twitter (and its creators)? Let’s consider for a minute some of the main use cases for the network first:
People use Twitter for key & specific functions (in no particular order):
- Hyper-local engagement (around conferences, sporting events and festivals)
- Niche/Community/Professional engagement (linking in with others who share in specific areas and can give advice/direction for those in need of it)
- Celebrity Spotting/Commentary/Influencer (snooping on your favourite film star)
- News that sits outside of traditional structures (early news, un-official, street observer)
- Brand interaction (mostly complaints/customer care)
- Soapboxing/Public venting at [insert target here] (letting some steam off at the state of the world)
You could conceivably expect that ticketed spaces could work for the first three here – conference add ons for premium tickets, or people who can’t make it physically to an event for example. You could also look at niche communities having a guest speaker/host where paid tickets might be of interest, or you might see a celeb or influencer hosting a ticketed space for super fans. All of these are viable and potential use cases that we could see users interested in engaging with, the latter three not so much.
What does this mean for Twitter though? The vast majority of income for Twitter comes through from Twitter Ads, and so while ticketed spaces would contribute to that, it’s curious to consider that Twitter have previously stated they’ll only scrape 3% off tickets for the network, which isn’t a huge amount (especially when tickets start at $5). I think it’s clear to see that we’d have to see Spaces become a rocketing success, with ticketed spaces even more so if this new feature is to have any meaningful impact on Twitter’s earnings.
With that said, for creators or brands with the right ideas, ticketed spaces could present some interesting opportunities to better connect with audiences and it’s going to be very interesting seeing what people build on here as the ticketed function starts rolling out properly.