Twitter is exploring adding a new feature that could drastically change the sports world.
The social media giant announced that “Super Follows” a feature that allows a user to charge platform users for a “super follow” that grants these special followers access to content that regular followers won’t receive.
Twitter hasn’t released when the feature would be made available but whenever it does hit the app it could be a gamechanger.
Athletes have already been exploring various ways to monetize themselves and their stories for themselves instead of going through traditional media outlets. Both LeBron James and Kevin Durant already have their own media companies. There’s also The Players’ Tribune, founded by Derek Jeter that gives athletes an outlet to express themselves in their own words.
If athletes are allowed to charge for premium content on their Twitter feeds, who knows how much additional revenue they could rake in. You might even see athletes be even more open about their day-to-day lives to attract more “Super Followers ” — and subsequently more dollars.
In the extreme, just think about how exciting it would be to see exclusive content of James Harden partying from city to city with Lil Baby, or watching former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch do literally anything because everything Beast Mode does is entertaining.
While it could be a great invention for athletes and their diehard fans, it could also be a hindrance for many media companies that may be forced to pay top dollar to follow these athletes. And if I’m an athlete who has a subscription service on Twitter, why would I tell anything of substance to a local reporter when I can get them to pay my fee on social media to get the story and tease prospective fans with exclusive content? This will likely help give athletes full control of their narratives on a broader scale, but could also be a significant barrier for journalists.
A lack of media access could in turn hurt casual fans who aren’t necessarily willing to pay for information coming from Ben Simmons’ Twitter account.
This could be very fun, but with some pretty serious consequences.
We’ll see how it all shakes out. We just might have to pay for it.