Editor’s note: A previous version of this story attributed the creation of Tomorrow to Twitter. Tomorrow is an independent effort that will use Twitter tools to reach its audience. Our headline and story both have been corrected to reflect this.
Twitter has doubled down on the creator economy, introducing new tools and features in recent months to support independent writers and other creators.
Tomorrow, a new organization from meteorologist Eric Holthaus—formerly of Quartz and other publications—is launching a new weather service that will serve 16 US cities, Axios first reported, built on these Twitter-based tools. Tomorrow will provide free weather information, and offer exclusive content such as live experiences and Q&As for subscribers paying $10 a month.
Holthaus is building a team of 20-30 climate writers, who will predominantly engage with subscribers via Revue newsletters, which Twitter acquired in January, and Spaces, the platform’s live audio feature akin to Clubhouse.
“It’s the largest collective of writers and experts we’ve launched with,” Twitter vice president of product told Axios.
Twitter has always been a hub for news organizations and journalists, but now makes up a more robust environment on which a publisher could operate.
Tomorrow is just one of the many publishers now using Revue, and Twitter takes a 5% cut from any transactions. Holthaus said Twitter has customized some backend publishing features for them, but that he isn’t being paid by the company.
Twitter makes most of its money from advertising, though it does a sizable business licensing user data to other companies as well. Even though the advertising business has been good to Twitter—it made a $68 million profit in the first quarter and its stock price has nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic—the company is looking to diversify its revenue.
The social media platform has been tinkering with its own subscription service for a while now, but its plans are finally coming to fruition. In the coming months, the company is expected to announce Twitter Blue, a $2.99 per month subscription version of Twitter, joining Microsoft’s LinkedIn and indie darling Discord as major platforms with premium plans. But Twitter also knows that more people are paying for news in the US and enjoying creator-led subscription services like Revue rival Substack, as well as Patreon, and OnlyFans.
If it can accustom a significant portion of its 199 million daily users to pay for tweets, newsletters, and live experiences on the platform, Twitter could become a hub not only for real-time news but a place where people pay journalists for it.