The US-based microblogging platform Twitter has started rolling out a new Tip Jar feature on its Android and iOS apps, which will enable users to send money directly to their favorite accounts.
To use the tip jar, when viewing someone’s profile on one of Twitter’s mobile apps, tap on the newly added dollar bill icon next to their username. Users will be able to toggle the tip jar feature, too (for certain individuals or organizations that don’t want people just sending them cash out of the blue). Users on Android will be able to send money via Twitter’s Clubhouse-like Spaces.
Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, Paypal, and Venmo are among the payment options and links supported by Tip Jar. Twitter is using those services’ external payment processors for transactions; it does not take a cut. Starting last day, all English-language Twitter users can send tips, but only a small group (including “creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits”) will be able to turn on the feature to accept money.
Users have been asking for tips or Patreon followers on Twitter for years, and finishing viral threads with a shoutout to a SoundCloud account has become a meme. As a result, it’s understandable that Twitter will want to streamline the feature as part of its own app.
To be clear, the only way to access Tip Jar right now is through navigating to a user’s profile. That means that sending someone money for a genuinely amazing tweet would take a little more effort than simply liking or retweeting it.
There are already some problems that Twitter must address. In a recent update, Twitter’s Support account acknowledged the issue, tweeting that it was “updating our tipping prompt and Help Center to make it clearer that other apps may share info between people sending or receiving tips, per their terms.”
We’re likely to hear more on how Twitter is implementing tipping in the coming weeks and months, as Twitter promised there will be “more coming soon.”