Elon Musk Kills Off Twitter Blue's Ad-Free Articles Perk

After many months, Elon Musk now owns Twitter, and he's the sole CEO. This development started a flurry of changes, all of which are seemingly taking place all at once. As Twitter seems steeped in chaos, Elon Musk moves with yet another controversial decision — and this time, Twitter Blue is the target.

Twitter Blue is the subscription-based service offered by the platform. It's not available globally, but the plan used to be that it would continue expanding; it's hard to say what will happen to it now under new leadership. One thing is crystal clear, though — Musk has big plans for Twitter Blue. For one, the new Twitter CEO has put his newly obtained team to work on changing the verification system on Twitter, and it might soon become available only to those who agree to pay a monthly fee for Twitter Blue. 

As part of Twitter Blue, users were given access to some (admittedly fairly minor) perks. Twitter Blue users were the first to get access to tweet editing features; they also have a special tab with the most popular links on the platform and a special display picture style. Twitter Blue also used to give you the chance to read ad-free articles from over 300 publishers, but that's gone now.

The feature is gone with zero warning

As reported by 9to5Mac and spotted by the affected publishers, Elon Musk has canceled the ad-free article feature for Twitter Blue subscribers, and the perk disappeared overnight. Previously, Blue subscribers were given access to content from over 300 U.S. publishers through a feature known as "Ad-Free Articles." Through this program, Twitter would reimburse these publishers for the advertisement cost lost on each page read, and in return, Blue subscribers didn't have to view ads.

The publishers were only given a single day's notice of the change. As part of Musk's new regime, an email was sent out to all the affected companies, stating: "Starting tomorrow, we will stop displaying the 'Twitter Blue Publisher' label on any Tweets containing your articles. We will no longer be sending a Twitter Blue token when people on Twitter access articles from your properties. This will prevent the ad-free experience on your site from loading."

This is an unfortunate development both for the subscribers, who lost what seems like a considerable part of their subscription perks (of which there aren't that many to begin with), and for the publishers. Whatever work was put into establishing this system can now be considered wasted as the feature was cut with no warning. What other changes will Musk implement as the leader of Twitter? Only time will tell, but it's likely going to be a wild ride.