Twitter lists paid subscription service on app store, rekindling debate about whether new features are worth paying for
On Thursday, tech journalist Jane Manchun Wong revealed that the company had updated its Apple Store listing to include the in-app purchase Twitter Blue. The service, which is not yet publicly available, costs $2.99 a month in the US and £2.49 in the UK.
Wong, who is testing Twitter Blue as the first paying user of the service, shared screenshots of some of the new features. Subscribers will be granted access to an ‘undo tweet’ feature as well as a ‘reader mode’ that will make long threads easier on the eyes, she said. Twitter Blue users will be given color theme customization options, and there may also be an option to better organize saved tweets.
A screenshot shared by Wong shows a settings page that allows Twitter Blue users to choose one of six color themes and change the color of the app icon.
Twitter confirms “Twitter Blue”, which costs $2.99 per month by publicly including such In-App Purchase on the App StoreFor testing, I’ve become the first paying Twitter Blue customer 😅Twitter Blue comes with Color Themes as well as custom App IconsReader Mode coming soon https://t.co/RxQHwi6aplpic.twitter.com/UC7kfNS9PE— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 27, 2021
The technology blogger added that, so far, she hasn’t seen any evidence that paying users will be subjected to fewer advertisements. She reported earlier this month that Twitter was working on a tiered subscription service, and reportedly landed these scoops by “reverse engineering” the app in the hope of discovering hidden gems.
Twitter has declined to comment on Wong’s sneak peek at the yet-to-be-released service. According to media reports, it is preparing a pilot program for the subscription-only features, but it's unclear when it will begin and who will be allowed to participate. CEO Jack Dorsey said last year that a subscription model was in its “very early” phase.Also on rt.com As Telegram and Parler gain traction, Twitter tries to keep users by introducing PAID Super Followers
In April, the company created a new ‘tip jar’ system that allowed people to send money to their favorite content creators on the platform. However, only a select group of creators, including journalists, pundits, and non-profit organizations, have been given access to the feature.
Twitter Blue’s listing on the Apple Store reinvigorated the ongoing debate about whether paying for extra features was a wise investment.
Paying for changing the color is a bit of a stretch..— ups 🇪🇺 (@upsfeup) May 27, 2021
One commenter said the new offerings were not very “compelling” and likely not worth the money.
The criticism was shared by many. The ‘undo’ feature was a particular point of controversy, with some noting that you can currently delete tweets for free.
£2.49 for the ability to ‘undo tweets’? It’s free to delete them! 🥴— Is It Mekkul? 🧲 (@IsItMekkul) May 28, 2021
Wong responded by suggesting that Twitter is introducing basic features first as it starts to test the new product.
I guess they wanna test the water using some small niche features— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 27, 2021
Another observer said Twitter should hike up its prices and make the platform subscription-only so they don’t have to read “garbage” on the site.
One Twitter user took the opposite view, arguing that the new service would make the platform less “fun.”
“The best part is when someone completely incensed with rage types something regrettable.”
If users get an "undo" feature then Twitter is going to be a lot less fun. The best part is when someone completely incensed with rage types something regrettable.— Antony (@antonydb) May 28, 2021
For months, Twitter has reportedly been working on trying to find new revenue streams. The company has signaled that it plans to expand its advertising business. Like other big tech companies, the platform has come under fire for allowing paid promotions that spread “disinformation.” In 2019, the company banned all political advertising worldwide, fueling debate about Silicon Valley’s influence over modern democracy.
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