Elon Musk is tossing up the idea of putting Twitter behind a paywall. It’s one of his aggressive ideas to try and make the platform a profitable business. In a live stream he had with the Israeli Prime minister he says, “We are moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,”
Twitter already introduced a whole host of features that can only be accessed through monthly subscriptions which include long-form tweets, bookmarks, and prioritization of posts and replies of paying subscribers. All this also comes with a shiny blue badge to boot.
Probably not the right time
It is no secret that X has a big and loyal community. That aspect of community is what keeps it going however there are now interesting developments in social media apps that could see X’s plan to charge a fee to be a subscriber become their undoing.
Meta is charging hard, Instagram introduced Threads which is a direct competitor to X offering similar features and services. The same goes for WhatsApp which recently added Channels bringing platforms and influential figures right there in the instant messaging app, further challenging the need to be on X.
And all these Meta platforms are ads-based businesses so they can offer the service for free to the subscribers and let the advertisers foot the bill. A strategy X also employs however the difference is that with X it’s not going too well.
Elon Musk has been one of the more vocal people against censorship and in support of free speech. When he took over Twitter, now X, his first order of business was to let that sink in and then reinstate the accounts of a number of users who had been canceled on the basis of censorship.
This did not ogre well with a number of advertisers who then went on to pull their advertising spend on the platform. And remember before this, the social media platform was continuously losing money. Hence the aggressive drive that Elon is on with trying to make the US$4 billion dollar company profitable.