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Twitter shares take wing on plan for subscription platform

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Twitter’s logo is shown in this undated file photo. (AFP Photo / Leon Neal)

Twitter shares closed the formal trading day up more than 7 percent after word spread of a team codenamed “Gryphon” working on a subscription platform.

Shares in the social network were up nearly 7.4 percent at the close of the New York Stock Exchange, and rose more than a percent more in after-market trades.

The free one-to-many messaging service has become a seemingly indispensable online venue for the latest news or commentary, with US President Donald Trump among those who post frequently.

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A subscription platform could be a way for Twitter to overcome challenges making money.

A Twitter job posting said the San Francisco-based company is looking for a senior software engineer to lead payment and subscription work as part of a new “Gryphon” team.

“This is a first for Twitter,” the job posting read.

“We are building a subscription platform, one that can be reused by other teams in the future.”

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The Gryphon engineer is to collaborate with the team handling Twitter.com, according to the posting.

Twitter confirmed the job posting, but declined to comment further.

Twitter swung to an $8 million loss in the first quarter of this year as the global pandemic hit, even as revenues edged up three percent to $808 million and its user base increased 24 percent.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey during an earnings call that the platform was working to be a useful resource for people during the pandemic.

He said Twitter’s goal is to “serve the global conversation” and that the platform is “helping the world stay informed, and providing a unique way for people to come together to help or simply entertain and remind one another of our connections.”

Twitter’s preferred measure — “monetizable” daily active users — hit 166 million, a leap of 24 percent from a year ago.

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