The owner of Tesla and SpaceX, who recently bought the social network for 44 billion dollars, intends to transform the site in depth.
Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, announced in a tweet on Tuesday the upcoming launch of an $8 per month subscription for users wishing to have their account certified as authentic and be less exposed to advertising.
The social network has offered a subscription to paid features since last year, but the chief executive wants a new, more expensive and more widely adopted program that will diversify the platform’s revenue sources.
Abolish the “lords and peasants” system
“The current system of lords and peasants, with those who have the blue tick and those who don’t, is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8 a monthsaid the Tesla and SpaceX boss, who bought Twitter on Thursday. So he’s considering merging Twitter Blue — a $5-a-month subscription for a more comfortable reading mode and editing tools — and the ability for eligible accounts to have their identity verified and certified.
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Currently, only certain profiles can request this blue tick token of authenticity, including governments, companies, media, political, cultural or sports personalities, etc. They can lose their badge if they do not respect the rules of the platform. As of Friday, Elon Musk asked engineers to work tirelessly on this overhaul of the system. He said subscribers would have other benefits: their tweets will appear in priority, they will be able to post longer videos and audio messages, and will be exposed to “half the advertising”. The subscription price will be adjusted according to the country. “It will also bring revenue to Twitter to reward content creators“, he concluded.
The richest man in the world has repeated since the start of the eventful takeover process that he had embarked on this operation out of interest in this “public placeessential to democracy, and forhelp humanity“. He indicated that profitability was not his priority. But Twitter is a network whose revenue comes 90% from advertising and which has never been very profitable compared to its Californian neighbors Meta (Facebook, Instagram) and Google (YouTube).
A project that sometimes arouses concern and rejection
Musk may promise that the tweeting platform won’t become unlivable when he relaxes content moderation rules, but some advertisers are worried. On Friday, automaker General Motors announced that it is temporarily removing its ads from Twitter. The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) for its part recalled the importance for brands that “toxic contents» are removed.
Diversifying income therefore seems necessary. According to the specialized site The Verge, Elon Musk first considered increasing the price of the subscription to 20 dollars per month. “Twenty bucks a month to keep my blue badge? Fuck them, they should pay me instead. If it’s set up, I breakbest-selling author Stephen King tweeted on Monday. Elon Musk had responded by suggesting eight dollars a month – with no apparent response from the writer. The very idea of having to pay to have your account certified has drawn a lot of criticism. “Appealing to Twitter users to make more money might be the right strategy, but verification isn’t the place to paycommented Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg. “The certification is supposed to ensure the authenticity of accounts and conversations on the platform, it is not a premium tool to improve the experience of users who have access to it“, she added.