Elon Musk appears to be going back to his roots, with the Tesla CEO stating during a livestreamed meeting hosted on Twitter Spaces that the social media platform might start offering a high-yield money market account for creators. The funds could be from money earned from paywalled content.
Speculations are high that Twitter is developing a “Paywalled Video” feature that would let content creators charge users to access their work. This should place Twitter in direct competition with services like Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts. Creators could utilize this functionality to charge as little as $1 for users to access their paywalled material, and they would have cash balances in their Twitter accounts as a result.
Offering a high-yield money market account on Twitter could incentivize creators on the social media platform to publish paywalled content. High-yield money market accounts are similar to high-yield savings accounts, which pay higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. As noted in an Insider report, traditional savings accounts can offer interest rates under 1%, but high-yield savings accounts can earn over 3% interest.
While online financial services may seem utterly different from Musk’s ventures like Tesla and SpaceX, his roots actually lie in such services. In the late 90s, Musk co-founded X.com, one of the internet’s earliest online banks. X.com eventually merged with competitor Continuity Inc., and the merged companies became PayPal. PayPal was later bought by eBay, and Musk used his earnings from the transaction to fund SpaceX and Tesla.
Prior to his acquisition of Twitter, Musk had floated the idea of rolling out “X,” an “everything app” that would reflect much of the functionalities of WeChat, China’s all-in-one super app. Musk had noted that Twitter’s acquisition should accelerate the creation of an everything app like X by about 3-5 years.
Twitter’s high-yield savings feature could very well be just the tip of the iceberg for the changes that are coming to the social media platform. In previous statements, Larry Lee, Rapyd’s global head of financial networks, noted that Musk probably has the best chance at creating a “super app” of sorts. Such an app could include services such as ride-haling, food delivery, online payments, and more.
For now, however, Musk has his hands full with Twitter’s existing issues. Reports have suggested that Musk and Twitter are now focusing on addressing the platform’s problems with bots, spam, and troll accounts. Musk also has to refine the rollout of his $8 Twitter Blue revamp, which provides verification marks to users who are willing to opt-in to the subscription.