Twitter has announced the first expansion of its Twitter Blue paid subscription offering, with users in the US and New Zealand now able to sign-up, in addition to those in Australia and Canada, while it’s also added more elements to the Blue program to entice more paying tweet customers into the fold.
Originally launched back in June, Twitter Blue enables users to pay a monthly fee to gain access to a range of additional tweet features, including undo tweets, new color themes in the mobile app, and more.
Now, for the small price of $US2.99 per month, users will be able to get even more out of the Blue offering, while Twitter’s also launched a new promo push to support the expansion of the program.
It’s time to flex those Twitter fingers and take it to the next level ????— Twitter Blue (@TwitterBlue) November 9, 2021
Twitter Blue is now available for subscription in the US, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia on iOS, Android, and web pic.twitter.com/if3wXfoGpB
As noted, at launch, the original Twitter Blue offering provided access to these features:
- Undo tweets – Retract your sent tweets within up to 30 seconds of posting
- Bookmark Folders - Categorize your saved tweets into assigned topic folders
- Reader Mode - Turn tweet threads into clutter-free, easy-to-read text
- Color theme - Select from a range of color options for your UX display in the app
- App icon –Select from a range of custom app icons that you can use on your device
- Dedicated Support - Blue users also get access to dedicated customer support
Which is fine, it’s okay. But it’s not blowing anyone away either, right? Undo tweets is not edit tweets, no matter how Twitter tries to frame it as such, while aesthetic options and reader mode are not exactly ‘must-have’ additions, even for the most dedicated tweet connoisseur.
Which is why Twitter’s now looking to build out the Blue offering, as it looks to sweeten the deal for the millions more people now able to access the option.
First, Twitter’s adding ‘ad free articles’ on iOS and Desktop.
Incorporating Twitter’s acquisition of Scroll, this is essentially Scroll on Twitter, with the process enabling users to access a range of websites through their Blue subscription, ad-free, with Twitter then sharing revenue with publishing partners.
“On iOS and desktop, Twitter Blue members will enjoy a fast-loading, ad-free reading experience when they visit many of their favorite news sites available in the US from Twitter, such as The Washington Post, L.A. Times, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, Reuters, The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, Insider and The Hollywood Reporter.”
Twitter says it will look to add more publications as it continues to expand the Blue program, which could, in itself, make it worth the $3 per month, depending on your reading habits.
Twitter’s also adding another key Scroll feature, with the return of Nuzzel in tweet form.
As you can see in this example, Blue subscribers will now be able to see the most-shared articles within their Twitter network over the previous 24 hours, highlighting the key trends of interest among your tweet community.
That can be a great way to stay on top of key articles of note, and things that you might otherwise have missed, based on what’s gaining traction among the community that you’ve curated through your following list.
Nuzzel was always a handy tool to have, and the capacity to get it back, in some form, is another potentially valuable enticement for the second stage of the Twitter Blue program.
In addition to this, Twitter’s also added another aesthetic option, though a slightly more functional one, with a new tool that enables Twitter users to customize which elements appear in their bottom of feed navigation bar for quick access to the app’s features.
And finally, Twitter’s also added ‘Twitter Labs’ access, which will enable Blue subscribers to test out new features in development.
Twitter actually added this to the Blue offering late last month, so it’s not entirely new, but it may still provide another enticement for those considering whether to sign-up or not. At present, Blue subscribers have access to two new features in testing – longer video uploads and pinned conversations. That list will expand and contract as various options are put through their paces over time.
The new features definitely make Twitter Blue a much more enticing offering, with the Scroll and Nuzzel features providing valuable functionality, in different ways, that could better justify the ongoing cost.
I mean, really, paying for undo tweets (um, I can just delete and re-send) and a few color enhancements hasn’t been a big selling point for Twitter Blue thus far, and while it has been available in Australia and Canada for several months, there’s seemingly hasn’t been a lot of hype, or buzz, around the option as it stands.
Indeed, according to analysis conducted by Sensor Tower, looking at the first half of September (as part of a study into Super Follows subscriptions), Twitter brought in $600, in total, from subscriptions in Canada in the period, which incorporates revenue from both Super Follows and Twitter Blue subscribers that signed on.
So while we don’t have full figures available, it’s safe to assume that Twitter Blue numbers haven’t blown up as yet – but now, with a lot more people able to access the option, and a range of additional elements, maybe this is the time for Twitter Blue to take off, and become a bigger consideration for more users in the app.
And really, Twitter doesn’t need many users to sign-on to make it a hit – based on its current user count, even if only 1% of Twitter users sign-up and pledge that monthly fee, that would still equate to more than $6 million per month (+$18m per quarter) in direct revenue for the company, a significant boost for what’s really a minor technical addition for the platform.
Of course, the integration of Scroll and Nuzzel is significant, and those acquisitions have their own costs that Twitter needs to recoup, so it’s not to play down the significance of what Twitter needs to earn to turn a profit with these elements. But on balance, and over time, it does look like Twitter Blue could be a winner, even at relatively minor interest rates. And this is before we consider what else might be coming to the Blue offering.
The next question, then, is, will this get more people coming back to Twitter more often, and help the app also grow over time?
That seems less likely, with the features here really only appealing to ‘power users’ (as they like to call themselves) and people who are already familiar with the app.
Still, it’s another revenue pathway, and you can imagine that more than 1% of users will sign on.
We’ll soon find out, with Blue available in the US, Australia, Canada and NZ from today.