Twitter has launched a new “tip jar” feature which will allow people to send money to others on the site.
To begin with, only a select group of people will be able to receive tips, including journalists, experts and content creators.
The social media giant says the feature is “an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation”.
show your love, leave a tip
now testing Tip Jar, a new way to give and receive money on Twitter 💸
more coming soon… pic.twitter.com/7vyCzlRIFc
— Twitter (@Twitter) May 6, 2021
The tip jar function will add a small icon next to a user’s profile with a drop-down menu for payment providers such as PayPal and Venmo.
However, the feature has come under fire for exposing personal information, such as email addresses.
Because the payment is made through external systems, some users have noticed that tipping a PayPal account notifies the recipient of the sender’s postal address.
After the issue was highlighted by security expert Rachel Tobac, Twitter thanked her for the “good catch” but said they could not control how PayPal handled the information.
15 days ago I tweeted a thread including my concern about the just then announced PayPal Tip Jar Twitter integration and how email, physical address, and more might be visible during the tipping flow in receipts, which Twitter users might not realize during tipping. https://t.co/LnKtop8hFL
— Rachel Tobac (@RachelTobac) May 7, 2021
Twitter said it would update the information around the feature to make it clear that details may be shared.
Meanwhile, PayPal said the issue was down to the Twitter tip jar using its “goods and services” payment option, which shares details for shipping.
PayPal encouraged people to use the “friends and family” option during payment to avoid the issue.
Twitter said that more people will be able to use the system soon, but there are some concerns about the way it will be used.
Journalists are typically banned from accepting gifts and it is unclear how news organisations would use them.
The new feature is the latest experimental move from Twitter, after seeing user growth slow down in recent years.
Earlier this month, it purchased Scroll, a service that removes adverts from participating news websites.