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Elon Musk sheds light on Twitter’s upcoming subscription plan

Updated Nov 7th, 2022 11:24AM EST
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Image: CARINA JOHANSEN/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

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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.

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.

Axios reports:

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.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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