December 1, 2022

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Musk comes up with several tricks to make Twitter profitable

Musk comes up with several tricks to make Twitter profitable

It seems that Elon Musk’s strategy to make Twitter profitable as quickly as possible is to turn Twitter into everything the platform doesn’t provide, ignoring much of what made the platform profitable in the first place.

Instead of creating a town square where important public discourse is freely discussed (which Musk claimed was his Twitter vision), he’s now making moves likely to skew discussions by ranking unauthenticated accounts with newly granted blue checks above others in the feeds, not Because it’s the users with more informed or more popular views, but because it’s about anyone who paid $8 that month. His other big ideas for making money reportedly include fees for celebrity users in direct messages and fees for watching OnlyFans-like videos posted by verified paid users. Evaluating these ideas, Musk appears to be willing to charge wherever he goes, and isn’t afraid to spread the paywall among users and content that arguably initially drew them to Twitter.

According to the New York Times,Interviews with two people familiar with the topic and reviews of internal documents, Musk and his advisors discuss all of these strategies to monetize Twitter and get the platform out of debt.

The first step into Musk’s world of Twitter is the launch of “Twitter Blue,” a subscription service that costs $8 per month to verify users. According to The Times, this product will be launched on November 7 for users in the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. There is an expectation that over 400,000 verified users will already have a short interim period where they will keep their blue checks. Then, at an unspecified time, those users who have already been verified will have to pay the amount or lose the check.

Twitter docs show that these paid subscribers don’t just get a blue check. It looks like they’ll also get access to other benefits, such as the ability to post longer videos and get their responses to other tweets ranked higher. Usually the last feature happens anyway when the replies of the verified user get the most views and then the most likes, but now another feature is included in the blue check and then sold back to them in the era of musk.

Beyond Twitter Blue, Musk’s strategy for turning Twitter into a profit maker appears so far to revolve around videos, even asking employees to check the code and explore the possibility of resurrecting Vine, the short video looping app that killed Twitter in 2016. Knowing the history of Twitter, it may spark a stir. This particular move is surprising, given that Twitter in particular only became profitable in 2017 after eliminating investments in products like Vine.

Another idea that Musk’s team has is to meet the needs of creators by charging users for watching videos. Twitter will likely take a portion of that revenue, based on the idea that popular content creators will be financially motivated to help Musk maintain user engagement as more content becomes obscured.

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