There is a revenue problem for the two companies. They may have a way to make money with porn.
Many are panicked at the possibility of the demise of the social networking site. Unknown writers used dedicated followings to make book deals. Marginalized identities found each other. Small businesses and independent media outlets got a lot of traffic to their websites. A lot of people are worried about what will happen to their jobs if the company goes public.
Sex workers don't think this is a new thing. They've ridden this ride before. With ever-changing community guidelines and targeted legislation, the adult entertainment industry is frequently kicked out of social media sites with little-to-no explanation.
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One of the major social media sites allows porn. According to an internal report, 13 percent of the content on the micro-messaging site is pornography. Fans are sent to other sites by those accounts. The creators of OnlyFans got paid out billions of dollars. Money isn't going to the Big Blue Bird.
In-house researchers had been working on a way to cut in on that market share. Dr. Snow is a researcher for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. She consulted with employees of the social networking site about an adult content monetization product. This was going to be a way to make a lot of money on that.
In May, the idea was tabled a few weeks after Musk made an offer to buy the site. The Washington Post reported internal communications about a yet-to-be-announced "Paywalled Video" product that sounded a lot like Only Fans: videos uploaded directly to a tweet with a blurred preview that arrives in your timeline with a pre-set price to unlocks. The ability for creators to sell directly to their fans on the platform has huge revenue potential for the company.
Ginger Banks is an adult entertainer who has been in the industry for 13 years. She said she had 300,000 people follow her. It's usually 1-2 percent that ends up paying for my stuff. Depending on how they roll it out, it could be large.
Porn stars know a lot of great marketing tricks to get people excited to spend money on them. Fans could easily spend their money with a click or two. It's no longer possible to boost impressions for offsite URLs. If the company takes a cut of sales, it will have an incentive to boost the number of people who follow them.
"I have faith in both of them being able to make money from adult content," Banks says. They have adult content and are in the app store. They have something that other websites don't have. Pornography is not usually allowed in Apple apps. Only Fans does not have an app.
Newly unemployed people tried their hands at porn when the world stopped. Lotus Lain is the Industry Relations Advocate for the Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry's trade organization. If the paywalled video product was implemented, newbies would not have to start an onlyfans. It may be easier to start your sexy side hustle.
The more places where pornographers can make money, the better. Lain told me that he was cautious about the lack of security at the social networking site. Whoever was in power before was a mixed group of executives. Now it is one guy who is crazy. That is what I don't think is right.
Elon Musk has made Twitter drastically worse, according to porn star Kendra Sunderland. Credit: Ian Moore / Mashable
Some suggest that Musk never really wanted to do the pet project. He said he would give investors a return on their investment. Advertising is the main source of revenue for the social network. Musk would like to change that. He has floated a lot of different ideas, from charging government accounts to bringing back vine to launching an edit function for blue subscribers. It was shut down after two days after his rush to sell badges for $8/month.
An internal review found Paywalled Video to be high risk due to concerns about copyrighted content, user trust issues, and legal compliance. The CEO cut his moderation team last week.
Snow thinks that Elon is an idiot. He doesn't know what normal human concerns are The sound of a spring pops out when I press a button on the social networking site. Things are falling apart
There is serious concern about the product under Musk. I don't think it's a good idea. I think he will launch a product that doesn't have any moderation built in, or the staff will do that. I can't imagine him being able to get the nuances of adult content or the privacy around it or the infrastructure needed to make that work because he's incompetent.
There are many differences in adult content. Musk, a champion of artificial intelligence, probably won't appreciate the artistic complexity of porn. I had a video removed from my account because I pulled out a mic. The decision was quickly rejected and threatened with a ban. The push to scrub consensual sexual content from the internet has been stepped up by anti-porn crusaders. Since the legislation put platforms on notice, they have cracked down on anything that is suggestive.
Porn stars use these sites to build followings, but they are often banned because they don't share banned content. Sex work and porn is institutionalized. All it does is force us to innovate.
It doesn't matter if there are no users left to purchase your porn. In the wake of Musk's decisions about hate speech and reinstating Donald Trump, people have been fleeing the social network for alternatives. When new websites rush to fill a void, Lain has witnessed it. Everybody gets a lot of wack-ass shit. Mastodon is not a reality.
The site has been made worse by Musk's actions, according to a porn star. With nearly one million followers, he feels stuck. There's nothing you can do about it. You have to let it go and move on. She has not had her social media accounts shut down. I can't just leave the social networking site. I have to use it for my work for the rest of my life.
"We're all in a raft going down a river, and we're going with our guide, who is also our guide," he said.
A lot of people could make a lot of money from paywalled video. There is behind-the-scenes content and exclusive video episodes. There are pictures of porn stars. The product won't solve Musk's problem, but it will make him less dependent on advertisers.
Private conversations between Mistress Snow and a department head suggest that the company is interested in cashing in on the success of Only Fans. Sex workers can't believe it. An employee writes that because they don't defend adult creators publicly, they are seen as wary allies who could switch teams at any time. Snow requested anonymity for the employee.
It doesn't look like there will be a complete abandonment of adult content. The N-word is allowed in your mentions, but cumshots are not. Will porn be included in the gold rush?
"My hunch is that they're going to create a way to monetize content and we're not going to be able to use it," says Banks. I would like to be proven wrong.