What does it mean for Twitter to become a subscription | technology

Elon Musk wants Twitter users to pay to complain about Twitter. In recent days, one of his most frequent tweets has been the “$8” alternative when someone complains to the network: the $8 that Musk set as the payment rate. It’s a number that far exceeds the price: it aims to profoundly change Twitter as we know it so far. What’s more, when it was known on Tuesday that inside the company they were debating whether to put the entire network behind a paywall. For now, it’s just speculation.

The evolution of subscription details was rapid. In the early days after buying Twitter, payment was tied to only verified people. The verified ones are a legacy from the original Twitter, where before celebrities came in there were those who replaced them as a parody or a game. This is why Donald Trump’s Twitter account was Tweet embed. Other networks also have this number of “verified” users. But what was necessary at first, later became a sign of status: verified was equal to the important, for people with an interest in embodiment.

There are about 400,000 verified accounts on Twitter. The belief that all Musk would do was make them pay for their “status token” created the first wave of complaints. But this weekend, Musk himself spoke at an investor conference in New York and clarified what he had hinted at in tweets, but is now crystal clear: The push serves to assert you as a human being, not as a celebrity. The goal of the newCheck Blue “is not a prestige, it’s humanity.

Priority or sunk

“If you are verified by payment, it will be the priority,” Musk said. “If we get enough paid verified subscribers, we will prioritize searches, replies and mentions with verified users first. The advantage of this is ensuring crime isn’t paid. Now it costs less than a penny to build a Twitter bot.”

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Musk mentioned page 8 of Google results as a clear comparison for future unverified users: “This is like Google. If you go to page 8 or 9, there will be a lot of scams and scams. The truth is that Google results on page 1 are very good, and you won’t You never go to page 8. And bad results are sent to the bottom of it,” he said.

The big absence of these catch phrases is the chronology itself: unverified users will land in answers, mentions, and searches. But on the home page? It makes sense to think that they would of course be honored, but confirming that at the moment seems like a very strong statement. French government spokesman, Olivier Veran, has already said that he does not plan to give those eight dollars for his accounts, so what happens if singers, journalists and politicians do not pay? Do not go out in timetable Who follows them? It looks like it does. But less than people with hundreds of thousands of followers.

What are the implications of all this? The main problem with this bet is the number of Twitter subscribers. That is why Musk puts his phrase on the condition: “If we get enough approved subscribers by paying.” For now, according to the internal company documents I obtained the edge, With Musk’s number of active users increasing to 15 million, to 255, Musk himself later tweeted. The profits will be really big even if less than half of them all are paid, but it will not be profitable if the payment is only less than 10%. The new Twitter subscription pioneer is Twitter Blue, which launched this year in the US with fewer features, and has 100,000 subscribers.

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Although Musk’s basic idea is that if you want to keep using an enhanced version of Twitter, you’ll have to pay, the subscription has other benefits (although some will be ported from Twitter Blue): See a summary of the most shared tweets before Your followers, being able to edit tweets or being able to post videos up to 42 minutes in length. Later, you will be offered the option to share this income with content creators, such as YouTube.

The idea of ​​subscriptions is neither surprising nor new. Twitter may even offer several subscription options depending on the type of account. In 2009, according to one of the founders, Eve Williams, Twitter prepared a presentation on how companies pay. Over the years, seeing advertisers not paying enough money and believing in the cultural importance of the web for news and information, he settled on as a real choice. It is also the only text-centric network currently; Its unrivaled position at the center of global ideas makes it unique. But enough to pay?

There is another problem with the payment. Musk talks about the problem of “spam, bots, and trolls.” The first two, who are posting spam, wouldn’t want to pay $8 a month to flood the web with crap. But perhaps it will be of help to trolls, users who intend to make noise, confusion or annoyance? a phishing The usual Twitter pattern is to appear first in responses to celebrity tweets. With payment verification, there will be less competition.

The most common question on Twitter is whether Musk knows what he’s doing or is he just thinking while he’s talking. A simple improvisational test is that the Birdwatch gadget, which is being tested in the United States, has suddenly become indispensable for Twitter to become an indispensable source of global information. For Musk, journalists are more of a hindrance than a requirement for good information.

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Birdwatch, which Musk will call “Community Feedback” (a name that Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, seems wrong), is a system that allows authorized Twitter users to vote on comments on tweets. They are footnotes that give context to a politician’s tweet, for example. If a comment gets upvotes from users of different ideologies, it will be published. It’s easy to imagine political fights erupting in those comments, but ideally they could bring the kind of insight to Twitter that Musk dreams about.

Musk has publicly complained about the lack of support he receives from advertising companies. Currently, advertising accounts for 89% of Twitter’s revenue. Musk believes his influence is excessive and disproportionate, especially in times like the present, when some boycott threats are trying to force him to change his plans. The argument in favor of the subscription model is that advertisers will have less weight, as happens with the media.

Musk will try to make other changes, but signing up is probably his biggest bet; One can flood the network or activate it. The lack of an immediate alternative, and the taste of the text and its impact on the generations who used it to inform themselves, fight and celebrate (and who had little desire to try other platforms), could only cement its success.

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