Twitter recently introduced “a new way for people to send and receive tips” without needing to click a link.

tip jar
Credit: Dan Smedley on Unsplash

The social media giant announced Tip Jar, a new feature that lets people send money to others through the platform itself. Starting on 7 May 2021, anyone using Twitter in English can send money to applicable accounts on the platform’s iOS and Android app. However, only a limited number of people, including journalists, creators and experts, can eligible to receive tips at the moment.

Twitter promises that more people will be able to add the feature to their profile and the feature’s expansion to support more languages.

Twitter Tip Jar

To tell if an account has enabled Tip Jar, a dollar bill icon will appear next to the Follow button on their profile page. To use the feature, tap the icon to show a list of payment services or platforms that the account has enabled. These include Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal and Venmo. Tapping on one of the services or platforms listed will take you to the selected app, where you can show your support in the amount you choose.

The new feature is not without its flaws, however. Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security, discovered that the feature reveals the recipient’s address to the sender, sparking privacy concerns regarding the feature.

Twitter has acknowledged the issue on 6 May 2021 and has updated its tipping prompt and Help Centre. The update promises to make the fact that other apps may share info between people sending/receiving tips per their terms clearer.

Ms Tobac has also discovered another flaw with the Tip Jar feature – it asks for the recipient’s PayPal.Me username to use PayPal’s services. Twitter also added the warning that by entering your PayPal.Me username, you might be revealing your real name as well. KayVon Keykpour, Twitter’s Product Leak, messaged Tobac in a reply, acknowledging the issue and following Tobac’s suggestion to add a warning for people sending tips through PayPal for their awareness.

Written by John Paul Joaquin