Twitter is increasing the price of its subscription service. Moving forward, Twitter Blue will cost $8 per month in the US, with pricing in other countries adjusted for the purchasing power of consumers in those markets, Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk announced today. The $3 jump from Blue’s current $5 per month fee amounts to a 60 percent price increase.

At the same time, Twitter plans to add new perks to the service. As a subscriber, you’ll see fewer ads and have the ability to post longer videos and audio — which Twitter had tested prior to Musk’s takeover. It will also give you priority in replies, mentions and Twitter’s search feature, perks Musk claims are essential to reducing the amount of spam on the platform. “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” Musk said, all but confirming verification will be tied to Twitter Blue subscriptions. Lastly, Twitter Blue will include the ability to bypass paywalls — though that will come later and will depend on Twitter forging the necessary publisher partnerships.


Tuesday’s announcement comes after days of speculation on how Twitter could change under Musk’s ownership. On Sunday, two separate reports said the Tesla and SpaceX CEO was considering increasing the price of Twitter Blue to as much as $20 per month and making the subscription a requirement for verification. Musk appeared to reconsider pricing after a tweet from author Stephen King criticizing the plan went viral. “We need to pay the bills somehow,” Musk said. “Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”

Musk claimed the changes to Twitter Blue would also give the company a way to support content creators. On Monday, the owner of Nibellion, one of Twitter’s most prolific and popular gaming news accounts, said he was abandoning the platform, citing Musk’s takeover of the company and the difficulty he encountered monetizing his work.

“I have miscalculated the value of my Twitter activity and realize that it is nothing worth supporting by itself for the vast majority of people,” Nibel said. “It is not me who is popular, but it is that work that is useful. It is not valuable by itself, but a comfortable timesaver, and I get that now.” Accounts like Nibel are the lifeblood of Twitter. While they only represent about 25 percent of the user base, they account for more than 97 percent of tweets you see on the platform.

Tweaks to Twitter Blue are likely only the start of the changes Musk has planned for Twitter. According to The New York Times, Musk has ordered company-wide layoffs that could affect as much as 50 percent of Twitter’s 7,500-person workforce. He is also reportedly considering bringing back Vine, the company’s long-defunct short-form video service. In the meantime, Musk did not say when the changes to Twitter Blue would begin rolling out.

First published here

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