Twitter, as a social media platform, makes most of its revenue from showing advertisements. However, that does not seem to be the case for all users on the Twitterverse.
According to a report by Re/code, Twitter has stopped displaying ads or has reduced the number of ads being shown to a small group of the company's most active and prominent users. The initiative, which has been going on for the previous few months, has made Twitter noise-free, or almost noise-free, for the select group of users.
Sources claim that Twitter does not select the members of the no-advertisement and low-advertisement group based only on their star power. The criteria for users to be entered into the special groups include the volume and the reach of the tweets that the users generate.
Re/code writer Peter Kafka, who said he has about 70,000 followers on the social media platform, said that he appears to be among the users in the no-advertisement group. Kafka's boss and Re/code founder Kara Swisher, who has over a million followers on Twitters, also appears to be in that group.
The move is an attempt by Twitter to have some VIP users of the service remains engaged with the social media platform, according to Re/code's sources. This would seem to go against the goals of the company, which is to focus on getting new users to sign up for the service and not to please the users that are already on it.
However, the initiative was seemingly endorsed by CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter started to develop the idea back in September of last year, when Dorsey still carried the interim CEO title. Upon his appointment as permanent CEO, Dorsey has decided to keep the scheme.
Twitter will not take much of a hit by turning-off advertisements for a handful of users, since advertising revenue has not been a concern for the otherwise-struggling company.
Twitter will likely have made $2.2 billion in revenues last year, with almost all of the money coming from advertisements. However, if Twitter believes that the best way for users to utilize the platform is to have their accounts advertisement-free, then perhaps the company should think about the possibility of subscription-based, advertisement-free accounts, Kafka wrote.
"We're constantly looking at constraints and adjustments to optimize which ads are shown and how often," said Twitter representative Will Stickney, who would not engage Kafka in a discussion regarding subscription accounts for Twitter.