The much-anticipated Twitter Tip Jar is out and ready to be stuffed full of dollar bills – at least virtually. Up until now, Twitter users looking for their followers to show their support had to hand out their Venmo details or links to a Patreon. But with the Twitter Tip Jar, the process just got easier.
The new Tip Jar sits on a user’s profile, next to the message and notifications buttons. When clicked it then gives you the choice of which platform you want to use to pay, based on the accounts that have been linked.
Right now, you can add Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal and Venmo. iOS users can also use Apple Cash, while Android users can use Spaces. And the good news is that Twitter doesn’t take a cut.
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While everyone using Twitter in English (on mobile) can pay using the Tip Jar, currently only a select group of users can set up a Tip Jar on their account. Twitter says the list will include creators, journalists, experts and nonprofits. The list will apparently expand, but right now the criteria is about as vague as for those receiving a blue tick.
According to Engadget, Twitter is also working on other ways for creators to monetize their accounts. This is likely to include the ability to sell tickets to Spaces events and the ability to provide exclusive content through a subscription service.
For those using PayPal, Twitter user @RachelTobac exposed an issue in that the person you pay automatically gets sent your address. This is a PayPal issue rather than Twitter but it's worth knowing before you tip someone you don't know.
It’s difficult not to consider the darker implications of what a payment system on Twitter could bring – from extremists groups to the straight illegal – but if it provides a way for creatives to be paid for their talent, there has to be some good in it.