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Twitter adds Tip Jar for creators

By | Published on Monday 10 May 2021


With app-based donations an increasingly important revenue stream for online creators – including some music-makers – Twitter last week added a Tip Jar, making it easier for people to donate to their favourite personalities and creators posting on the platform.

Twitter is following the lead of rivals like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, which have now all added donation tools of one form or another, though most often linked to their respective livestreaming services. However, unlike its rivals, Twitter isn’t getting directly involved in the transaction process, instead just making it easier for people on its platform to direct people to their accounts on other services like PayPal, Venmo, Bandcamp and Patreon.

In a blog post last week Twitter stated: “Tip Jar is an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation on Twitter. This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter – with money”.

“Starting today”, it added, “everyone using Twitter in English can send tips to applicable accounts on Twitter for iOS and Android. For now, a limited group of people around the world who use Twitter in English can add Tip Jar to their profile and accept tips. This group includes creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits. Soon, more people will be able to add Tip Jar to their profile and we’ll expand to more languages”.

The inclusion of Bandcamp as a service that Tip Jar eligible Tweeters can link to shows that musicians are among those creators Twitter plans to target. And, of course, Patreon too has a sizeable number of music-makers among its userbase.

An increasing number of grassroots and independent artists have started utilising tools of this kind during the COVID shutdown. For any of those artists who regularly use Twitter, the addition of the Tip Jar may be of value. Although within the music industry at large, which is increasingly vocal about Twitter’s lack of music licences, artists getting some donations from fans is unlikely to placate the most vocal critics.