By Salim Yunusa
Twitter Inc. unveiled its long-awaited subscription service, offering paying customers exclusive features for rescinding tweets and organizing posts as part of a push to ease the social network’s dependence on advertising revenue.
Dubbed Twitter Blue, the product will cost $2.99 a month for access to tools including the ability to “undo” a post before it goes out publicly, organize bookmarked tweets into folders, and more easily read long tweet threads. Subscribers will also get faster service for customer-support claims, can choose from new app colors and will have the ability to modify the Twitter app icon on iOS devices.
The subscription model could help Twitter diversify its business at a time when the pandemic has underscored the risks of a heavy reliance on digital advertising. The company makes more than 85% of its revenue from advertising, with the remainder coming from its data licensing business. In last year’s second quarter, as the pandemic prompted lockdowns around the world and led to event cancellations, Twitter’s sales fell 19%. Twitter Blue could provide a more consistent, albeit smaller, revenue stream.
The product suite is being pitched to the most prolific of Twitter’s 200 million daily users, including journalists, social media managers and those who use the site as their primary news source, said Sara Beykpour, the product lead in charge of subscriptions