You want a blue checkmark on Twitter? You really want it?
Well, you’ll have to be pretty keen, because according to a new report from The Verge, Elon Musk’s first directive to the Twitter dev team has been to create a new tier for Twitter Blue which enables users to essentially buy a blue checkmark – for $19.99 per month.
As per The Verge:
“[Musk has told Twitter staff] to change Twitter Blue, the company’s optional, $4.99 a month subscription that unlocks additional features, into a more expensive subscription that also verifies users, according to people familiar with the matter. Twitter’s planning to charge $19.99 for the new Twitter Blue subscription, though that price is subject to change.”
Musk has also, reportedly, considered charging users that already have a blue tick a monthly fee to keep it.
Which may also be at that $19.99 price point – which equates to $239.88 per annum just to be a Twitter celebrity, or at least, to have the presence of one, with your own blue tick.
Which I doubt many people will pay for. I mean, a blue tick does have some vague prestige within the app, and it does give you a level of extra credibility. But the actual experience of using the app is pretty much unchanged, other than getting an additional notification stream specifically for updates from other verified users.
Probably not worth $238 a year – but then, maybe it is for some people?
Seems like we’ll soon find shortly.
Musk has repeatedly pointed to subscriptions as a key opportunity in the app, noting once again just last week, in a meeting with Twitter employees, that he expects subscriptions to make up 50% of the app’s revenue intake in future.
Which could be a tall order, at least based on current performance.
Twitter’s revenue per month, based on its Q2 earnings report, is around $1.2 billion, so Musk is looking to generate around $600 million per month in subscriptions. At $4.99 per month, the current price of Twitter Blue, that would take around 120 million users signing on for the service – over half of Twitter’s active user base.
Thus far, the equivalent of 20k Twitter users are paying for Twitter Blue, based on its subscription revenue data, so it’s a fair way off target just yet.
But upping the price could be one way to fast-track that, and I guess, if people are willing to pay…
There’s also this note in The Verge report:
“Employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they need to meet a deadline of November 7th to launch the feature or they will be fired.”
Elon has a reputation as being a taskmaster of a manager, and driving his employees to deliver. Seems like he may be trying to set a precedent with his first directive at Twitter.
Would you pay $238 for a blue tick? Is it worth that much? We don’t exactly what’s going to be included in that offer, but it does seem that Elon is keen to move quickly to reform the app.
NOTE: I suspect that Musk may change his mind on this based on the results of this poll from close friend Jason Calacanis (which Elon also replied to):