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Twitter's Planned Pay-Per-Article Feature: What Does it Mean for Realtors?

By Ben Shepardson | May 8, 2023

As a social media platform, Twitter offers plenty for real estate professionals looking to market their own brands. Even the recent controversies surrounding new owner Elon Musk and his business decisions regarding the way the company works and how it provides services don’t necessarily take away from this. Today, Twitter is still a large platform with 450 million monthly active users, and it’s, therefore, a great marketing vector for any real estate agent.

Yet in his zeal to make the platform more profitable, Musk has been taking a “throw everything at it and see what sticks” approach. Examples include Twitter Blue, the company’s new paid verification system, which has been gaining little in the way of traction. Now, a new announcement from the company reveals that there are plans in the works to provide Twitter users with a way around online paywall restrictions on a pay-per-article basis.

The Solution to An Irritating Problem

Like anyone that uses the internet habitually (which is, at this point, nearly everyone), real estate professionals often find themselves looking for helpful and informative content anywhere they can find it. It’s easy enough to find sources like research studies or news articles discussing real estate market movements online, but sometimes just because you find the information you’re looking for doesn’t mean you can access it. This is because many companies institute subscription-based paywalls to their web content.

This is the problem that the new pay-per-article feature will seek to solve. If this plan goes into effect, for a single, one-time fee, Twitter will provide access to a single article to readers without having to sign up for an entire subscription. The idea is that this will provide greater access to the information that readers are looking for while still providing methods for the companies that create these articles to make money off of them. Users will no longer have to navigate away from the site or find a workaround.

How This Can Help Real Estate Professionals

This new feature is still in the planning phases, but it is something that Musk has been wanting to implement for some time, based on interviews he’s given in the past. This means the likelihood of the Twitter CEO implementing this program is high. This also means you should begin to prepare for how to capitalize on this coming feature as a real estate professional. However, what may be unclear at the moment is how much use you’ll get out of a feature such as this. Sure, having easier and less expensive access to subscription paywalls seems like a great idea, but how is it going to enrich your business activities?

This is a bit of a deep cut, here. It’s true that the planned feature isn’t going to have much of a direct impact on how you use Twitter to market your brand, connect with clients, and build an online following. What it does, however, is makes the process of accessing information that you need to accomplish all those things much smoother and more streamlined - and likely at a price that won’t strain your marketing and research budget.

You’re the Expert

Think about it this way: much of your ability to portray yourself as an authority in your chosen field relies on being able to use reliable data when communicating that authority to others. The most reliable and accurate information is often contained in these paywall-restricted articles in the form of white papers and research study findings. With this new Twitter feature poised to make it easier than ever to gain access to these authoritative sources, your ability to demonstrate your expertise in the market sectors you specialize in will be naturally enhanced. 

This means you’ll be able to craft smarter, more accurate marketing copy that attracts more clients to your real estate business. You’ll also be able to use the information in these paywall-restricted articles to gain better insights into the real estate markets, giving you an advantage over competitors that choose not to access these same articles. And in a field as competitive as real estate, you need every advantage you can get if you want to be successful.

The Last Word on Pay-Per-Article Paywall Access

There are a few flaws with Musk’s plan to offer pay-per-article paywall access. Firstly, it’s not yet implemented. There are plans to bring this feature to Twitter soon, but there’s no specific timeline that’s been announced, which means there’s no way of knowing when you’ll be able to make use of this or what it will cost per use. Secondly, similar ideas have been tried in the past with little to no success so far, and this means that Twitter has an uphill battle to fight if they want their new proposed feature to take off and be successful.

By the same token, Musk has been underestimated before. Plenty of people have said that it wasn’t feasible to build an electric car company like Tesla or to build commercial rockets like SpaceX, but both of these companies have proven naysayers wrong in the past. Twitter is, of course, a different animal altogether; when compared to manufacturing parts for cars and rockets, managing the way people interact with a social media platform is worlds apart. Hopefully, this new planned feature will see the light of day and provide some excellent foundational usage for real estate professionals. We simply won’t know until it goes live.

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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