Twitter tip jar: social media platform starts testing new payment system

Some users such as creators, journalists, experts and non-profits can now add the feature to their accounts

(FILES) In this file photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile phone on August 10, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia.  Twitter on May 4, 2021 said it is buying Scroll and its ad-free news app to bolster a coming subscription service, and channel money to journalism in the process.The global one-to-many messaging platform did not disclose how much it is paying for Scroll, which owns the Nuzzel app."Scroll will become a meaningful addition to our subscriptions work as we build and shape a future subscription service on Twitter," Twitter product manager Mike Park said in a blog post. / AFP / Olivier DOULIERY

Twitter on Thursday began letting some users add virtual tip jars to accounts so people can support their tweets by tossing in money.

A limited number of users around the world who tweet in English can add a Tip Jar feature to their profiles, according to Twitter senior product manager Esther Crawford.

The group included creators, journalists, experts and non-profits.

"You drive the conversation on Twitter and we want to make it easier for you to support each other beyond Follows, Retweets, and Likes," Crawford wrote in a blog post.

"This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter – with money."

A Tip Jar icon on a profile page indicates an option to be taken to services such as Patreon, PayPal or Venmo to send money to a creator, according to Crawford.

Twitter does not take any cut of tips, she said.

"Soon, more people will be able to add Tip Jar to their profile and we'll expand to more languages," Crawford said.

The one-to-many global messaging platform is keen to broaden its ranks of users and get people spending more time at the service.

Twitter last week reported weaker-than-expected earnings and disappointing user growth.

Twitter has struggled to expand beyond its core audience of celebrities, journalists and political leaders, even if it has become an important forum for policy debates.

Twitter has faced challenges in tackling misinformation and abusive content even as it strives to become a platform for political discourse.