What users and businesses need to know about the newly revamped Twitter Blue
Twitter Blue is back, baby. Here’s what you need to know.
Twitter Blue is back – with a hiked-up price for Apple users / Adobe Stock
After previously rolling out a new subscription offering encouraging users to pay $8 monthly for a verification checkmark, fewer ads and other perks (only to pull the plug when things went haywire), Twitter is relaunching the service today.
This time around, Twitter has made a handful of changes.
The company said in a series of tweets Saturday that users can subscribe to Twitter Blue for $8 a month on web or $11 a month on iOS systems. Subscribers will be able to access exclusive features including a tweet editing tool, high-quality video uploads and of course the coveted blue verification checkmark. They will also gain algorithmic preference, with their content appearing higher in replies and search results.
The company’s head of product, Esther Crawford, sought to quell concerns about impersonation and bots on Twitter (some of the primary reasons behind the stop-and-go rollout of Twitter Blue), saying in a tweet that the company is adding a review step into the process before granting blue checkmarks.
The inflated price for Apple users comes after Musk last month railed against the tech titan for collecting a 30% commission on purchases made via its App Store – a pain point that’s inspired a handful of class action lawsuits against Apple in recent years. Musk went so far as to say that if Apple and Google ousted Twitter from their app marketplaces – something that Apple has threatened, according to the billionaire – he “will make an alternative phone.”
I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022
Twitter also announced that as part of the rollout it will debut new gold checkmarks for businesses – part of Blue for Business, its premium tier for businesses. Blue for Business is currently in testing. State-affiliated media and government and multilateral organizations will, later this week, begin receiving gray checkmarks.
Prior to the announcement, there was speculation online that a subscription tier for businesses would soon come to the social network – American tech journalist Casey Newton in November obtained internal company documents indicating that Twitter aimed to allow businesses to purchase their verified status. The pricing model has not yet been made public.
Twitter Blue is currently available in five countries.
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Why it matters
Musk’s takeover of Twitter has been tumultuous, to say the least. The chaotic rollout of pay-for-play verification through Twitter Blue has been the least of Musk’s problems amid a mass user exodus, advertiser pullback, whistleblower complaints of toxic work culture, the return and subsequent re-suspension of Kanye West and other ongoing controversies.
Twitter Blue, if it proves successful, could help the social platform achieve profitability. It’s estimated that the company has a debt of around $13bn. At the same time, Musk is eager to get returns into the pockets of investors following his $44bn purchase of the platform.
Further complicating the company’s financial position is a sharp decline in ad revenue since Musk’s takeover. With the loss of about half of its top 100 advertisers, per data from Media Matters for America, Musk is hoping to reconfigure Twitter’s entire business model so as to rely less on ad spend and more on paid subscriptions.
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