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Twitter has had a very busy year, introducing new features Fleets and Spaces and acquiring Substack-lookalike Revue. The social media platform’s latest rollout is Twitter Blue, a subscription-based service that offers special features for subscribers. Many of Twitter’s recent additions have been designed to drive ad sales, while Twitter Blue is more creator focused, it still offers Twitter a new opportunity to drive revenue.
“We look at [our new] subscription offerings as complementary to existing Twitter business and a way to diversify revenue lines. We have been thinking about this idea for a long time now, and with our ads business on solid ground, this felt like a good time to find additional lines of business,” said Smita Gupta, Twitter’s Senior Product Manager.
What Is Twitter Blue?
“This new monthly subscription [Twitter Blue] gives people exclusive access to premium features that give them more customization over their Twitter experience,” explained Twitter in a recent post about the new feature. Twitter Blue offers three new features for subscribers that aren’t available with the free version of Twitter, including:
Undo Tweet: Now you can review and revise your Tweet before it’s visible to your followers on Twitter.
Bookmark Folders: Organize your Bookmarks into folders, and easily find the saved content you want to read later.
Reader Mode: Keep up with Twitter threads by turning them into easy-to-read, longform text.
The Undo Tweet feature, in particular, is designed to appeal to those who have been clamoring for an edit button on Twitter. While it’s unlikely there will ever be an actual edit button, Undo Tweet allows Twitter Blue subscribers five, 10 or 30 seconds to undo (and revise) a Tweet before it’s seen by the public. Insiders see Undo Tweet as a safety net for high-profile Tweeters — and those that post for brands and retailers — to avoid typos and, in some cases, bad ideas that go viral for the wrong reasons.
For now, Twitter Blue is only available in Canada and Australia for iOS users. However, Twitter explains that it will be expanding to other regions and adding other “premium features as [Twitter] learn[s] what subscribers want to include in their experience.”
Twitter Blue subscriptions are “priced regionally and paid on a monthly basis,” and subscribers can enroll through their profiles on the Twitter app.
Who Is Target Audience For Twitter Blue?
Anyone can subscribe to Twitter Blue, however, it’s likely the new offer will appeal more to creators, or “power users” who are looking to amplify their presences across the platform. And, while it’s likely Twitter Blue will need more substantive features to truly lure creators away from other, meatier social media platforms, the combination of Twitter Blue with other new Twitter features could lead to a more creator-friendly platform.
Speaking to The Drum about Twitter Blue, Mike Allton, a social media influencer and Head of Strategic Partnerships at Agorapulse, noted that Twitter has only recently started adding the “sticky” features that drive usership — and ad revenue. “Consider some of the other recent developments within Twitter, specifically Tip Jar, Super Follow and Revue,” said Allton. “When combined with Spaces, the Twitter platform will soon offer creators a real ability to build and monetize their audience, and if influencers see potential and start utilizing Twitter more, their audiences will follow.” Larger audiences mean more eyeballs, which is good for advertisers and for Twitter, which hopes “to double its revenue in 2023.”
How Can Twitter Blue Benefit Advertisers?
Aside from the benefits that come with more active and engaged audiences, Twitter Blue isn’t really for brands and advertisers — yet. “For the time being,” said Gupta, “Twitter Blue is being developed for our most passionate Twitter users. We look forward to seeing and understanding what will make sense for brands down the road, but this first iteration is about finding product-market fit with this group of people who are super engaged and leaned into Twitter and finding out what they would be willing to pay extra for. We anticipate social media managers who work for these brands to find value in Twitter Blue, and we will be listening and learning from their experiences to see what will make sense for brands in the future.”
Whether Twitter Blue evolves to offer monetization or advertising opportunities for brands down the road may be less important than the increase in usership it encourages, providing additional reach and targeting opportunities for advertisers.
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