After Twitter suspended its $8 verification plan early last month, just days after its initial launch, it’s now planning to restart the program once again, though with one significant tweak.
That’s right, users that sign up on an iOS device will have to pay $11 per month – or $132 per year – to get their own blue checkmark, or alternatively, you can pay $8 per month if you sign up on the web.
Because Twitter, evidently, has worked out that Apple’s 30% in-app payment tax will cut into the potential profits from the program too much, so rather than trying to work out an alternative system, or maybe give people even more for their dollar, Twitter’s instead looking to pass on the tax directly to users.
So if you sign up on iOS, you’ll be paying a 37% mark-up, for absolutely nothing extra.
Why would anyone do that? I don’t know, why would anyone sign-up to get a blue checkmark at all? But some people will – while as Twitter notes you’ll also, maybe, get access to these add-on benefits sometime in future:
Other than that, you get access to Tweet editing, 1080p video uploads, reader mode, and a blue checkmark – through importantly, this will now come after your account has been reviewed.
In this revamped $8 verification process, Twitter will specifically be looking to stamp out the impersonation issues that marred the initial launch, with a new set of parameters designed to ensure that people can’t just buy a blue tick, change their name to a brand, and dupe people by masquerading as the official business account.
Under the new system:
In combination, Twitter’s hoping that these additional measures will ensure that the system isn’t abused by pranksters and activists looking to dupe people, and in theory, it should work to limit abuse. The key challenge, then, will be the labor time required for manual review, and how Twitter plans to tackle this, especially if they’re going to have to manually check every time a blue checkmark account changes its profile image.
It seems like a lot of extra work, with a lot fewer moderation staff. But this is the plan that Twitter’s going with, in the hopes that the program will lure enough people to then make it a viable pathway to both combat bot profiles in the app, and generate significant revenue, and reduce its reliance on ad spend.
But it won’t.
You can take that as a criticism of Elon Musk and his ‘free speech’ idealism if you want, but the fact is that Twitter’s going to need tens of millions of people to sign up to this scheme, paying for little more than a graphic on their Twitter account, in order for it to achieve its stated goals.
As I’ve previously noted:
As you can see, there are some significant obstacles and benchmarks for the program. And while Elon himself seems optimistic, there’s just no way that Twitter’s going to see these levels of take-up, especially now that it’s had to increase the price on iOS, adding either more cost or more friction to the process.
For comparison, Twitter Blue peaked at 100k sign-ups, even with tweet editing as an add-on update, one of the most requested social media features of all time. That’s equivalent to 0.04% of Twitter’s userbase. Snapchat+, a comparable subscription offering, providing similar incentives, has been taken up by 0.41% of Snap users.
If Twitter gets two million users to sign-up to this updated Blue plan, that would be huge; if it gets 10 million, that would be massive. And yet, it would still be way, way short of the numbers required to reach its intended goals.
Maybe this is just the start, maybe Twitter can sweeten the deal over time, and get more people paying, and maybe, possibly, this could be a viable pathway towards Musk and Co.’s aims.
But right now, I just don’t see it.
We’ll find out, either way, over the coming months.
Source: www.socialmediatoday.com, originally published on 2022-12-10 17:11:12