A social media giant is hoping you’ll consider paying for its service: enter the Twitter subscription plan. The company announced Twitter Blue.
Are you enough of a “power user” to consider a Twitter subscription plan? I imagine that for most of us, the answer might well be a firm no.
Twtter, believe it or not, launched in 2006. As hard as it might be to believe, that’s 15 years ago! Ouch.
For all of those 15 years, users have been able to go about their business on the service for free.
It’s important to note that Twitter claims it will not abandon its familiar free version.
“And for those wondering, no, a free Twitter is not going away, and never will,” its blog states.
But Twitter Blue will offer “enhanced and complementary features” to the free version “for those who want it,” the blog states. (The grammarian in me must point out that complementary means features that line up nicely side by side, not free.)
So what might a Twitter Blue user have that the rest of us don’t?
The first thing you need to know is it’s not an option unless you live in Canada or Australia. But if it succeeds there, it will surely roll out elsewhere.
Twitter Blue will cost a few bucks a month. No, that does not sound like a lot of money. But these days, with streaming services and other web tools bloggers and non-bloggers use, along with online subscriptions to some news services, those little fees add up quickly.
Subscribers in Canada will pay $3.49 in Canadian dollars. Australian users will pay $4.49 in their currency.
For those dollars, they receive three key features.
The first involves bookmarks. You will be able to group accounts and even tweets into bookmarks so you can find content easier. It sounds like a drastic improvement over the “heart” option.
The second involves an option to make long threads of tweets easier to read. Twitter famously limits character counts for tweets. It began with that limitation but eventually increased the number of characters per tweet. Still, people can’t always express themselves in the allotted characters, so they’ll post a series of tweets.
This new option will give users the chance to read a series of tweets as one long passage. It’s a nice idea, even if it goes against the grain of Twitter’s notion of short messages.
But it’s the third option that will get the most attention.
Twitter introduces the ‘Undo Tweet’ option
For years now, Twitter users have been asking for an edit option. Once something’s posted, you can either delete and repost, or just live with it. But there’s no choice in between.
The “Undo Tweet” option still doesn’t serve as a true edit function. What it apparently does in stead is to delay publishing for a few seconds so you can see the tweet before anyone else does. You can then make changes before it goes live.
Once it is live, you’re back to the “delete or live with it” choice. But a Twitter subscription will still get you closer to an edit function than you’ve ever been before.
Seriously, why is it so difficult to add an edit option? Facebook has had this option for years. You can usually go back and look at what the original post looked like before the edit happened. But still, for people too lazy to look at edits, it’s a way to fix a typo or clarify a point.
It can’t be this difficult.
The bottom line is about the bottom line
Remember what I said about those little fees adding up quickly?
Twitter wants more cash to be able to develop and roll out more features. Apparently, that elusive edit option must take a lot more cash.
CNBC reports the company hopes to attract 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023.
If it meets that goal, CNBC says, that would double the company’s revenue, to $7.5 billion, by the end of 2023.
It makes one wonder how much an edit button would really cost.