Twitter Blue – is it worth it?

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All of us who have smart phones or similar technology will be used to ‘apps.’ Some of these apps are totally free, while others are free for basic usage, but then require either a paid subscription, or money to be spent to unlock certain features. Twitter has been completely free to use and to a great extent still is. However, a change has recently been adopted which allows users to purchase a subscription to unlock special features of the platform. Does it seem that Twitter has finally caught on to the revenue it could make? What could this mean? Our latest blog post explores further.

On the 3rd June 2021, Twitter launched its “Blue” platform in certain countries, which for a charge, allows users to access certain features that free users can’t. These include the ability to undo tweets almost immediately after posting. The release has taken effect in countries such as Canada and Australia as an initial trial, and more countries are planned to adopt later.

What is the point of this and what could it mean?

Many users have long been arguing that Twitter should have a workable edit feature which allows users to make changes. We all know how quick and easy it is to post spare of the moment comments on all social media platforms, including Twitter, so having the benefit to revisit and revise what has been posted seems like a very sensible option. This would not only benefit the individual but would benefit wider audiences, because it would at least mean that people have a chance to think about what they have posted after the ‘heat of the moment’ has passed, and then edit in a much calmer way. Of course, the option exists to delete posts altogether, but many see this as inconvenient and counterproductive. If you can delete a post, then it seems strange that there is no facility to amend it either.

Whilst many users had been hoping that this current change amounted to the above, it seems to have fallen short for a number of reasons:

  • The change doesn’t apply to all users – i.e. you have to purchase the subscription.
  • From what we understand, the new feature can only be used for a certain limited time after posting the original tweet. Outside of this period, the normal rules on deleting a post apply.
  • It possibly gives the wrong impression that gaining money is more important than allowing users and audiences to have the best experience with their platform.

Currently the charge is only around $3 a month, and it is true that there are other features of this subscription such as access to a dedicated support service. Some though have argued they would have liked to have seen other options, such as the ability to opt out of advertising which this subscription does not address.

Twitter have insisted that this is not the first step towards a fully subscribed service and its platform will always be 100% free. Instead, they have merely argued that this is a chance for people to pay a little more for some extra services and features which they might find more useful and be time saving. The problem is, as far as this ‘undo’ feature is concerned, it doesn’t really seem to have achieved the purpose and instead just subtly created a revenue stream for the platform.

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