Twitter has launched a new feature called ‘tip jar’ that lets users send and receive money from others on the social network.
The company says the feature is “an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation“.
The Tip Jar feature is rolling out to select users globally on Android and iOS versions of the app. Payment services which are supported include Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal and Venmo.
Twitter says it will not take any cuts for any tips that users receive on the platform. On Android, tips can also be sent within Spaces, which is Twitter’s live-audio chat feature like Clubhouse.
According to a Twitter blogpost, since users “drive the conversation on Twitter”, the company wants to make it easier for them to “support each other beyond Follows, Retweets, and Likes,” and that’s why they are introducing Tip Jar.
“This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter – with money.”
Everyone using the platform in English can send tips, though Twitter says it plans to expand this to more languages soon.
The social network added;
“For now, a limited group of people around the world who use Twitter in English can add Tip Jar to their profile and accept tips.”
Twitter says select creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits will see the Tip Jar feature on their profile, and it will soon give this capability to more users.
How to Use Tip Jar
The icon appears next to the Follow button on someone’s profile. Anyone interested in leaving a tip can click on that and choose the payment service or platform they’d like to use.
The user will then be directed to that app to make a payment in any amount through the supported payment options.
Meanwhile, the feature has been criticised for exposing personal information such as email addresses. As payment is made through external systems, some Twitter users noticed that tipping a PayPal account lets the recipient know the email address of the tip sender.
In other cases, the recipient’s email address could be seen, whether or not any money was sent.
After security expert, Rachel Tobac highlighted the issue, Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour thanked her for the “good catch” – but said Twitter could not control how PayPal handled that information.
Instead, Twitter said it was updating the information around the tip jar to make clear that some details might be shared.
The tip jar function also has support for Bandcamp – widely used by musicians – and Patreon, used by all sorts of independent digital creators such as YouTubers and podcasters.
Twitter says the addition was inspired by people who added payment links or Patreon ads in replies to viral tweets.