When word spread that Elon Musk was planning to roll out a $20 subscription service for Twitter, it quickly generated a lot of controversy online. Several prominent Twitter users — including Stephen King and Nate Silver — were outraged at the idea of a Twitter subscription service. King, for instance, said that while he can afford it, the idea of paying for a monthly Twitter subscription to maintain his blue checkmark was an affront to his principles.
In light of that, Musk today took to Twitter and made some tweaks to the proposed plan. He also provided us with more information about what type of perks Twitter’s revamped subscription service would bring to the table. I still can’t imagine Twitter generating a meaningful amount of revenue via subscriptions, but we’ll go over the plan details first.
What the new Twitter Blue will cost
So here’s what we can expect. Musk relays that Twitter Blue will now cost $8 per month. Musk also used some colorful language to decry the current system of Blue checkmark verification, equating it to a “lords & peasants system.”
With Twitter Blue, anyone will be able to have their profile verified. Musk believes this move will thwart bots and scammers. Incidentally, Musk adds that the price of Twitter Blue will be adjusted on a country-by-country basis to account for variances in purchasing power.
Musk outlines some other Twitter Blue benefits, including:
- Ability to post long video & audio
- Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam
- Half as many ads
Musk, in exchanges with users on Twitter, said that the company needs additional revenue streams outside of traditional advertising models.
Will Musk’s plan pay off?
I’m more than a bit skeptical of Musk’s plan with Twitter Blue. The whole point of the verification system was designed to assure users that certain high-profile accounts were authentic. If this stamp of authenticity can simply be bought for $8/month, it automatically loses its brand cache. The new system, in effect, is simply a filter for users who can afford to pay $96/year.
Musk, meanwhile, is naturally quite enthusiastic about his new initiative.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Is Vine coming back?
On a related note, Vine, the beloved social network of yore, may be making a comeback. Just when you thought 2022 couldn’t get any more bizarre, rumor has it that Musk is angling to reboot Vine. Vine famously limited users to 6-second videos and was incredibly popular until Twitter acquired it and axed it a few years later.
Musk is said to have discussed Vine in the months leading up to his Twitter acquisition, and on Sunday launched a Twitter poll asking if he should bring it back. Responses were running about 2-1 in favor, as of this writing.
The Musk reign at Twitter is certainly off to an interesting and exciting start, to say the least.