Twitter Blue May Backfire, And That Could Mean The End Of Free Access

Would you be willing to pay to access Twitter? That could potentially be a reality one day if the new Twitter Blue subscription doesn't work out, at least according to inside sources and the information they have leaked. Twitter isn't known for making a profit, and Musk aims to change that by radically transforming the platform in a very short period of time — not to mention laying off approximately half of the workforce to cut costs. The new CEO has repeatedly said that Twitter needs to reduce its dependency on ads, and that seems more important now than ever in light of Musk's claim that ad revenue is down substantially.

The new version of Twitter Blue is supposed to be the solution — or, at least, one of the solutions. Under this subscription, users will pay $8 per month to get access to some special features, including the blue checkmark that was once used to signify that an account is authentic. Critics have expressed concerns about the loss of verification tied to the blue checkmark and skepticism about whether Twitter Blue will offer enough incentive for users to actually sign up. Now a new report claims the subscription overhaul may backfire, and that could lead to an entirely new type of Twitter.

Blue may not be enough to save Twitter

The information comes from Casey Newton, who is now penning a newsletter called Platformer, and who has published a series of leaks from inside Twitter. According to his sources (via The Verge), Twitter Blue's math may not work out, at least under the current plan to cut how many ads subscribers see. Platformer claims that Twitter Blue had around 100,000 subscribers pre-acquisition, which isn't a big number by any means. The updated version reportedly set to arrive on November 9 will bring some new features, notably the ability for anyone to get a blue checkmark, but it'll also cost $8 per month.

Many people have said they won't sign up for Twitter Blue — not even for the blue checkmark, as it becomes essentially worthless when anyone can get one. The leak claims that Twitter Blue may cause the company to lose up to $6 for every user who signs up due to Musk's decision to make fewer ads one of the perks. The report goes on to claim that Blue may be financially unfeasible if app store cuts of the transactions are factored in, assuming Twitter allows users to sign up and pay through the App Store and Google Play Store.

The most interesting part of the leak is a claim that Musk has been in talks about getting rid of the free version of Twitter entirely, meaning you would have to pay to get access to the platform. There's no indication of whether there's a decent chance this could happen, and ordinarily speaking, it sounds extremely unlikely. Things haven't been ordinary under Musk's leadership, however, as the layoffs were described as so messy that employees didn't even know who remained and who their managers were, and insiders report a general state of chaos in the office.