Twitter is pushing forward with a paywalled video feature that could launch as soon as this month.
Under Elon Musk, who has reportedly had employees working 84 hour-long weeks or risk being fired, the new feature would roll out in one or two weeks.
It would let people post videos and charge users to view them, with the company taking a cut of the proceeds, the Washington Post reports.
“When a creator composes a tweet with a video, the creator can enable the paywall once a video has been added to the tweet”, an internal email apparently states. Users can choose from a preset list of prices, such as $1, $2, $5 or $10.
Twitter did not comment.
One employee said it seemed like the feature will probably be used to promote adult content, something that Twitter users reportedly have an increasing interest in.
Leaked internal research from the company suggested that adult nudity currently makes up approximately 13 per cent of all the content on Twitter, but advertisers generally avoid such content as it may damage their brand.
Interest in other topics – news, sports and entertainment – has been declining among English-speaking ‘heavy users’. A “heavy tweeter” is a user defined that logs in to Twitter six or seven days a week, and tweets about three to four times a week.
However, there are concerns that users could use the tool to share copyrighted material or to scam others. Twitter employees have “identified the risk as high,” according to the email, which was sent by an employee on Twitter’s “Product Trust” team.
The email cites “risks related to copyrighted content, creator/user trust issues, and legal compliance”. The feature will undergo an internal review on those issues before launching – however that review could be as short as three days.
Mr Musk has announced a number of new features for Twitter since taking over the platform, but it is unclear how successful they will be.
He has confirmed that Twitter is planning to charge people to be verified, but has seemingly flip-flopped over the cost after reports came out he would be charging $20 per month.
“$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” author Stephen King wrote.
“We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?” Mr Musk replied.