Twitter quietly entered the newsletter subscription business in January, acquiring Dutch startup Revue for an undisclosed fee. A newsletter editorial platform, Revue allows users to publish and monetize email newsletters.
Founded about six years ago in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Revue has media clients such as Vox Media, Chicago Sun-Times and The Markup, and competes with services such as Substack – a platform for subscription to the popular US-based newsletter that has become a darling in recent years. journalists and venture capitalists.
Twitter’s foray into newsletter subscription has been touted as a Substack killer.
Several leading journalists have moved to Substack, with some of their newsletters generating very high subscription revenues. Heather Cox Richardson’s US political newsletter is estimated to have around $ 1 million in annual revenue.
Even comic book writers, who have previously expressed frustration with Twitter, are turning to Substack, which they say offers a tantalizing alternative.
To keep those long-running writers and content curators from leaving the social media platform, Twitter bought Revue to help them connect with their readers without walking away.
Twitter has reportedly attempted to acquire Substack, but Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie recently tweeted that “that won’t happen.”
Twitter has been slow to promote Revue, which it says will function as a stand-alone product, and said it has reduced the Revue publisher’s offer to a private beta for now, while focusing on the investment in platform infrastructure to pave the way for expected future demand.
“Our goal is to make it easy for them to connect with their followers, while helping readers learn more about writers and their content,” wrote Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter product manager, and Mike Park, vice president of products for publishers at a blog post:
“We’re seeing lots of ways to do this, from letting people sign up for newsletters from their favorite followers on Twitter, to new settings for writers to host conversations with their followers. Everything will work seamlessly within Twitter.
On the other hand, Substack is growing rapidly and claims it has over 250,000 subscribers generating over $ 7 million in revenue, of which 10% is for Substack.
Twitter, worth over $ 50 billion in market valuation, has the financial strength to create a better platform for writers. Its sister company Square, a payment processing service, would likely be useful for managing subscription revenue and payment.
Here’s how Twitter’s Review and Substack stack up in important areas, as detailed by Aamir Kamal, a Medium writer, blogger and YouTuber:
|Customization||Doesn’t have a lot of customization options yet.||Offers options to customize the layout of your post|
|Personalized newsletter area||Writers can connect a custom domain while using a free version.||You must pay $ 50 (one-time fee) to get a custom domain.|
|Podcasting||No functionality of this type yet||Has a podcasting function for audio publications.|
|Communication||Has a comment function||Has a comment function|
|Price||Invoices 5 percent of each transaction from a paid reader.||Invoices 10 percent of every transaction from a paid reader|
|Sender Email ID||Offers the ability to send a branded email with your own subdomain.||Send emails to subscribers as “[email protected]”|
|Registration Form||Users can create their own registration page where they can ask the reader to collect emails.||Displays the subscribe button each time a new visitor views the newsletter page.|