Social media seems to be following the road that the streaming services have paved with X right at the forefront.
When Elon Musk took over Twitter and renamed it X, the company soon after launched X Premium (or Twitter Blue, if you’re feeling nostalgic). The subscription service gave you the now controversial blue checkmark, the ability to edit posts (I instinctively still wrote tweets at first), and the ability to upload videos in higher quality. It also features a ton of other things, like cutting the amount of ads that you see on the platform in half.
But, what if you want to get rid of all of the ads and live in an ad-free world? That’s exactly what the company has planned next. In a post on the platform, owner Elon Musk announced that the company will be launching two new tiers of X Premium. One tier, which Musk says will be “lower cost,” will come with all of the features of the current service — however, it will not reduce any ads. The second tier being added will be “more expensive,” but it will get rid of all advertising on the platform.
II does appear that these two new tiers will be added alongside the existing tier that is currently available to users on the platform. The current version of X Premium costs users $8 per month if they sign up on the web and $11 per month if they sign up on iOS or Android — that higher cost is due to X passing along Apple and Google’s app store fees to customers.
While we know these two new tiers are coming, we still don’t know exactly what the prices for them will be — Musk is keeping that to himself for now. However, it is notable that the company is building out a subscription service with tiers that seem eerily similar to the strategy that streaming companies have taken over the last couple of years in offering an ad-supported and ad-free version of their service.
In streaming, the price of the ad-free tiers has continued to climb, so I’ll be interested to see how much the ad-free tier of X Premium will cost users. It’ll also be interesting to see if Threads, the now biggest competitor to X, will eventually offer the same kinds of tiers of service. Right now, there are no ads on Threads (and the edit button is free), but that will surely change over time.
We could be walking into a future where more and more services always feature an ad-supported and ad-free tier, with the ad-free tier costing much more than the ad-free version. Living an ad-free life might truly be a luxury and, for some services, it already is.