After testing it over the past few months, X has now officially launched its new audience control option, which will enable users to limit their post replies to verified accounts only in the app.
As you can see in this example, in addition to X’s three existing reply control options, which it first added back in 2021, X is now also adding “Verified accounts” as an engagement control option, so you can restrict your responses to only those who pay to use the app.
Which is probably not overly beneficial, especially when also you consider that fewer than 0.5% of X users are signed up to its Premium package. But for those who only want Elon Musk’s fans to be able to engage with them in the app, it could be good, I guess, in ensuring that you only hear from like-minded users in response to your posts.
But it’s a bit of a niche addition, really.
As X recently clarified, only 20% of its users ever post anything at all, and based on those posts, the vast majority of X engagement actually comes via replies, re-posts, and quotes. So limiting your replies to only a fraction of X users seems somewhat counterintuitive, while those participating in X’s new creator ad revenue share program only get paid based on ads that are shown within their post replies.
Granted, the only replies that are monetizable in this context are those shown to verified users. But still, you would think that more replies would spark even more responses, and help to get your content seen by more verified and non-verified users alike.
Essentially, most users would want to maximize the number of responses that they get, and as such, restricting their replies to less than 1% of X’s overall audience is likely not overly appealing to most people.
But maybe there is a case for it, and as X continues to try and push people towards paying to use the app, it could be part of the platform’s broader vision to incentivize X Premium (formerly “Twitter Blue”) take-up, by making it less desirable/valuable/useable for non-subscribers.
Which, as we’ve noted, is steadily establishing a class system within the “global town square”, where the only opinions that count are those that come from people who can afford to speak.
Really, it’s counter-intuitive overall, in a range of ways. But Elon and Co. have their minds set on verification being a pathway to broader success, in terms of ridding the platform of bots, while also establishing a new revenue pathway.
In that vein, X is also looking to launch new tiered pricing packages for X Premium subscriptions, while it’s also planning to make its coming video call option an X Premium exclusive, and adding Premium-only polls as well, within its growing subscription push.
Will that make more people pay up?
It hasn’t thus far, but maybe, if X can keep piling on incentives, it’ll eventually become a more valuable option.
I mean, I wouldn’t bet on it, but X certainly is.