Elon Musk's X rolls out ad revenue sharing programme for content creators

This is part of efforts to 'help people earn a living' directly on the social media platform

Workers install lighting on an 'X' sign on top of the company headquarters in San Francisco, on Friday. AP
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Microblogging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has rolled out its advertisement revenue sharing programme with content creators as billionaire owner Elon Musk seeks to diversify revenue sources.

“The company had given some creators payouts earlier this month, but now, users globally who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the programme from the monetisation tab in settings,” according to a support document about the programme on the X platform.

Ads revenue sharing lets you share revenue from verified users’ impressions of ads displayed in replies to content you post on X. This is part of our effort to help people earn a living directly on X.”

Creators will be able to set up ads revenue sharing and creator subscriptions independently. The programme was announced by Mr Musk in February.

Advertisement revenue sharing will be available globally to creators who meet X’s eligibility requirements, the document said.

To be eligible for creator ads revenue sharing, the account must be a subscriber to Blue Verified or be a Verified Organisation, have at least 15 million impressions on cumulative posts within the past three months or have at least 500 followers.

Eligible users must also have an account with payment processor Stripe to receive payouts, according to X.

The ad revenue sharing service is available in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Australia, Canada, India and the UK, among other countries.

“We want the process to be as simple as possible, so all eligible X Blue and Verified Organisations subscribers are entitled to revenue share so long as they meet the eligibility criteria and join,” the company said.

“You’ll get payouts as long as X determines that you’ve generated more than $50.”

Mr Musk, who has about 150.2 million followers himself, has not specified the actual share creators would receive.

The document also does not specify how the company determines the value of its payouts or how much revenue X keeps itself.

The revenue sharing payouts come as X’s dominance is being threatened by Meta’s rival app Threads. It was launched on July 6 and 100 million users signed up within days.

The programme would also help X compete with platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, which have systems for paying creators directly, either through funds or ad splits.

The changes to the X platform are part of efforts aimed at boosting user experience and diversifying revenue sources, according to Mr Musk.

The company lost at least half of its major advertisers in the weeks after Mr Musk became its chief executive, representing a loss of about $750 million, a report by non-profit Media Matters found.

Mr Musk had previously claimed that the company was losing $4 million a day. It has since introduced a paid subscription service and is moving forward with plans to introduce a payments feature on its platform to raise new revenue.

The blue check mark was previously reserved for the verified accounts of politicians, celebrities, journalists and other public figures.

In December, Mr Musk launched the Blue subscription service to raise more revenue. The subscription adds a blue check to an account and offers early access to features such as edits, longer videos, NFT profile pictures and custom app icons.

Newly created X accounts are not able to subscribe to Blue for 90 days.

The premium feature’s fees start at $8 a month for individuals. The costs of keeping the ticks start at $1,000 a month for organisations, plus $50 monthly for each affiliate or employee account.

On Friday, Mr Musk posted that monthly users of X reached a “new high”. He shared a graph on X that showed the latest count as more than 540 million.

“Also, this is after removal of a vast number of bots,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, a giant X sign was installed on top of the building formerly known as Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on Friday.

Updated: July 29, 2023, 11:30 AM