Twitter/X is continuing to throw monetisation plans against the wall to see what sticks. Its latest questionable projectile? Subscription tiers.
Bloomberg reports that the aspiring “everything” platform is currently testing dividing its subscription service X Premium, previously called Twitter Blue, into three separate tiers. Though they are being separated into Basic, Standard, and Plus tiers, Twitter/X hasn’t revealed much more information on exactly what each level might entail.
Fortunately, developer and leaker @aaronp613 has dug into the app’s recent iOS update for more details on X’s proposed subscription tiers. Confirming the three-tier subscription system, aaronp613 found that Basic users will still see ads in their For You page, Standard users will have half the amount of ads (the current X Premium subscription experience), and Plus users will have no ads at all.
So you could very well pay for Twitter/X and still get the exact same amount of ads in your feed.
Subscribing will presumably do more than just reduce ads, though it isn’t clear what other perks might be included, or how X might distribute them among each tier. Still, they’ll have to be some pretty impressive features to make handing over your hard-earned cash to the billionaire-owned microblogging site worth it.
It’s important to note that this is a test, and a bit of code in an update doesn’t guarantee that X will definitely roll it out. However, owner Elon Musk has made no secret of his frantic search for monetisation options. In May, investment firm Fidelity valued Twitter at approximately one third of the $44 billion price Musk paid for it.
As such, Musk has proposed numerous schemes aimed at turning his impulse buy into a galaxy-brained investment, even considering charging every single Twitter/X user a monthly fee. Predictably, this idea has been widely derided.
Twitter/X CEO Linda Yaccarino appeared to know nothing of the plan to charge users a mandatory fee when asked about it last month. Even so, it isn’t inconceivable that the platform’s three-tier paid subscription trials might be linked to the idea. Musk has repeatedly demonstrated that he has no problem charging ahead to implement poorly considered changes, regardless of how overwhelmingly unpopular they are.