With Twitter’s revenue down 40% year-over-year, the microblogging platform is trying to make money any way it can, announcing a new annual payment tiers for Twitter Blue users.
To lock in a blue checkmark, Twitter users now have the option to pay $84 per year and save 13% per year, certifying their account under CEO Elon Musk’s altered and vague rules. The checkmark will allow tweet editing, the ability to post 60-minute-long videos, the potential priority ranking of replies, and less ads.
Due to an inconsistent and chaotic user experience under Musk’s leadership -- including the recent half-baked plan to increase political posts that oppose users’ political beliefs -- it’s difficult to say why users would choose to purchase a blue checkmark, especially now that anyone can buy it.
However, Musk believes Twitter Blue to be the savior of the company.
In November, Musk sent out his first company-wide email, writing that “without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn,” adding that the platform needs “roughly half of our revenue to be subscription-based.”
“Of course, we will still then be significantly reliant on advertising, so I am spending time with our sales & partnerships teams to ensure that Twitter continues to be appealing to advertisers,” he said, which isn’t looking good, as 500 of Twitter’s top advertisers have left the platform.
Aside from a lack of current subscribers, Twitter Blue continues to face issues due to a lack of actual verification: whoever pays receives a tick, which has (very publicly) led to the platform verifying the wrong people.
There have also been issues with verifying the correct users with checkmarks, including several high-ranking members of the Taliban.
Twitter has not announced the exact number of Blue subscribers, but in November, The New Times found internal Twitter logs that listed 140,000 of the platform’s 240 million accounts had signed up.