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Yes, Twitter’s ‘Tip Jar’ system still needs to be polished a bit, so a few irregularities need to be worked out before the feature becomes fully stable. Yesterday, Twitter launched a test that provided access to ‘creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits’ using the new Tip Jar button on their profile to generate income from Twitter efforts. At launch, all the profits go directly to the creator.
It seems straightforward, so it should be of use to those who might well be struggling presently as a result of the ongoing effects of the pandemic. There are tip jars on other platforms, so in my opinion, it isn’t anything new. It seems fine to me.
Well, there are a couple of significant issues at present.
A security expert, Rachel Tobac, notes that people may inadvertently be disclosing their personal details when they provide ‘tips’ to companies through PayPal. In other words, when you donate to someone who gets a PayPal receipt, that receipt may contain your personal information. That seems like a pretty important privacy issue. Twitter suggests that it’s a PayPal problem – they point out that when people’s addresses are shared, people either select a “goods and services” payment or “friends and family” payment, and their details won’t be shared.
You are likely to share your address information with whomever you make a Twitter tip to if you have a business PayPal account. Twitter’s likely to work on this, but that’s still a hiccup, which they’ll need to correct before a broader rollout. A second major issue with Twitter’s new Tip Jar button is that requesting a payment through it is just as easy as making it.
Since the Tip Jar platform is simply connecting users to these third-party payment platforms, it does not specifically state whether or not the user is receiving money systematically. It thus gives users the choice to decide between one or the other. I have tested the same via PayPal, and it actually gave me the option of asking for money from the user.
Overwhelmed response on tips
As you might expect, the new tip jar button has already resulted in a flood of tips from users trying to trick people into giving them money. That can make a tip jar inherently frustrating. Twitter can probably fix this by working with payment platforms to improve this system, and they will definitely need to – otherwise, 90% of the button’s usage will be used for the opposite purpose than its intended.
Twitter’s move into financial transactions is a little concerning, but this has not dismissed some very important details. It’s inevitable, I suppose, and Twitter will update its tip jar system sooner rather than later.