The launch of Super Follows marked the beginning of the end for truly free content on Twitter, and the start of whatever Patreon-infused future lays ahead for the microblogging app. Supporting creators directly with monthly payments isn’t a bad thing, but as app researcher Jane Manchun Wong spotted on Thursday, the way they currently work on iOS is a little weird — each Super Follow subscription is an individual App Store in-app purchase (via MacRumors).
You can see for yourself by pulling up the App Store on an Apple device or the web. Twitter currently only lists 10 in-app subscriptions of various prices, each associated with Super Following an individual creator. Wong speculates only 10 are shown because the App Store isn’t designed to show as many in-app purchases as Twitter is currently offering.
There seems to be some truth to that, and an additional problem: Apple only allows for “10,000 in-app purchase products” per developer account. Even with Twitter’s eligibility requirements for Super Follows (among them, having 10,000 followers), it really seems like that might prove to be an issue as more people use the features, especially with the launch of other paid products like Ticketed Spaces and Twitter Blue.
Other apps like Twitch have found ways around the in-app purchase product limits by selling subscription tokens that can be repeatedly purchased and offered to creators. Twitter tells The Verge that it found setting up Super Follows this way made it easier to manage subscriptions through Apple’s existing system. “As always, we’ll listen to feedback and iterate as needed as we roll out Super Follows more broadly,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an email on Thursday.
Whether or not Twitter’s current arrangement for Super Follows proves to be a problem depends entirely on how popular the feature ends up being. Twitter’s trying a lot of new features, but they don’t all have to necessarily stick (or make sense) to matter. Some, like Fleets— which Twitter killed off after less than a year— will effectively self-yeet due to lack of popularity anyway.
Update September 2nd, 8:02PM ET: Added comment from Twitter.