X Pays More Creators as Part of its New Ad Revenue Share Program


Could you be making thousands from posting on X, like the latest round of creators that have been accepted into the platform’s ad revenue share program?

Last month, some of the app’s top creators shared screenshots of their first payouts from the program, with some generating tens of thousands of dollars in ad share over the first few months of the year.

Twitter ad share revenue

That sparked significant interest in the program, which saw the X team inundated with requests to join in the ad revenue share scheme. And after a slight delay in processing, X has now sent out the next round of payments, which has again seen some users getting big payouts from the app.

X payouts

Which is amazing, right? Some of us have spent years tweeting, for zero return, and now, Elon’s X team is changing the paradigm, with ad revenue share based on ads shown to verified users within tweet reply threads.

Though that does also make the actual metrics here difficult to calculate.

Because the impressions are based on ads displayed only to certain users, you can’t put together any accurate measure of revenue per impression, so there’s no way of knowing how exactly each user is getting paid.

X has also provided virtually no detail on this element, with X engineer Eric Farraro explaining that:

Our primary focus right now is getting creators on the platform paid. We know creators will ask for more metrics and better notifications about updates, but we think the most important thing is that they get paid, and so that’s what we’re focused on first. We’ll continue to iterate and add features that our creators request.

Which suggests that improved insights are coming, but right now, we have no way of knowing whether X’s payment terms are good, consistent, equitable, etc.

They sure do look good though in some of the payment screenshots being shared.

X payouts

Which is likely the main focus right now.

X is very keen to get more people signing up to X Premium (formerly X Blue, which was formerly Twitter Blue), and to get top creators posting more often in the app. As such, dangling the carrot of ad revenue share is a good lure, which has definitely helped to boost interest among content creators.

Though it is also worth noting the specifics.

First off, the requirements for the program are steep.

At present, you need:

  • A subscription to X Premium or Verified Organizations
  • Have at least 500 followers in the app
  • Have generated 15 million organic impressions on your cumulative posts within the last 3 months

15 million impressions, which was updated from the 5 million impressions per month that was outlined in the first iteration of the program, is still a lot, and very few users would be seeing that level of engagement.

In addition, you also currently need a Stripe account for payment, though X is looking to expand its payment options.

So while it is a good lure to get more people in, and to get the most active and engaging users posting more often in the app, it is also worth noting that only a small fraction of X users will be making thousands from their posts, which is further limited by the audience requirements for the ad rev share program.

As noted, only ads displayed to verified users count towards these payouts. X says that this is to avoid manipulation of its metrics, though I suspect it also relates to how X is looking to offset the cost of the such, by ensuring that it’s only monetizing paying users for this purpose.

At present, less than 0.5% of all X users are signed up to X Premium, and the majority of them are Elon Musk fans who are keen to support Elon’s reformation at the app.

That means that only a fraction of the ads shown on the platform are eligible for the scheme, and if you want to maximize your ad intake, you really need to be appealing to these users specifically, which will likely see more people posting about Tesla, vaccine controversies, right wing talking points, etc.

I also suspect we’ll end up seeing a lot more engagement bait junk as people try to hack the program.

X engagement bait

This account is not signed up to X Premium, so it’s not eligible for the program. But this is the type of thing that I expect to see increase as a result of the program, as will more discussion related to Elon’s topics of focus, in alignment with the audience.

And again, for context, a tiny amount of people are actually getting paid.

In the first round of payouts, for example, just 40 users made up for almost 10% of the full payout amount. That gives you some idea of how limited it is, so while the payout posts look impressive, and will generate interest, it is worth noting the limitations.

But people are getting paid to tweet, which is a significant shift, and some are earning real income from what they’d been posting for free for years. That’s a big shift, but without full insight into how the payouts are being calculated, it’s impossible to say whether this is sustainable over the long term.

There is an additional risk that X could see the payout amounts decline over time, which will actually annoy creators that have come to rely on the extra income.

That’s what happened at Snapchat, with Spotlight creators turning on the app when their payments decreased over time.

If X doesn’t have a fully accountable, systematic ad share progress in place, or if more people sign-up (and more advertisers don’t come back), there is a chance this could end up going bad for the platform as well. But again, we’re left with speculation like this because we don’t know how the payouts are being calculated or actioned as yet.

So, it’s either an amazing opportunity, and a step in the right direction for the app, in winning over top creators. Or it’s a short-term stunt to get more creators posting, which will eventually fall flat as payouts reduce over time.  

I don’t know which, because I don’t have the insight, but right now, it is doing its job in sparking more interest in X’s revenue share push.


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