Following months of speculation and leaks, Twitter (TWTR) has at long last announced its first subscription service, Blue. It's been nearly a year since the company confirmed that it was considering some type of subscription service, with CEO Jack Dorsey emphasizing that any such offering must be "complementary" to the core advertising business as part of Twitter's efforts to diversify revenue streams. That distinction is important, as speculation around social media companies launching subscriptions is typically predicated on the idea that users could remove ads.
Here's what you need to know about Twitter Blue.
Would you pay $3 per month?
Twitter Blue will decidedly not remove ads but will instead include a handful of additional features catering to power users. The company notes that the free tier of the service will always be available.
Yes, the rumors are true.— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) June 3, 2021
Twitter Blue is now available in Australia and Canada.
Bookmark Folders? ✔️
Undo Tweet? ✔️
Reader Mode? ✔️
Plus other fun surprises.
More about Twitter Blue: https://t.co/NlVeWDUEqy
And don't forget to follow @TwitterBlue to share your feedback!
Perhaps the most prominent feature included in Twitter Blue is the ability to undo a tweet. Users can create a customizable timer of up to 30 seconds to undo a tweet in order to correct any mistakes or typos before the tweet is published. The feature may not quite be the same as an edit button (a function Twitter users constantly request), but it's slightly better than the current solution of deleting an erroneous tweet in order to post a new, corrected tweet.
Blue subscribers will also be able to organize saved tweets in bookmark folders. There will also be a new reader mode to streamline the experience of reading long threads. Additional minor features include customizable app icons, different color themes, and better customer service for subscribers. The company says it will continue to introduce more features over time.
Twitter is rolling out the service initially to users in Canada and Australia before deploying Blue across other markets. It is priced at 3.49 Canadian dollars and 4.49 Australian dollars per month, respectively, which is comparable to the $2.99 per month that Twitter will eventually charge in the U.S.
Diversify, diversify, diversify
Investors should keep expectations for Blue in check. The service is fairly cheap but the included feature set is also relatively lackluster and may not appeal to most average users, as Blue is clearly designed for power users.
More broadly, Blue is just the latest of new monetization features that Twitter has introduced in recent months. The technology company acquired paid newsletter start-up Revue earlier this year in an effort to take on Substack. Twitter has already detailed Super Follows, which are essentially direct subscriptions to content creators to unlock paid content. A few weeks ago, Twitter previewed Ticketed Spaces, letting people sell tickets to live audio events.
Let's see if Twitter can execute on its plan to diversify its top line.