Starting this month, users on Twitter will be allowed to pay for content on a per-article basis instead of the usual monthly subscriptions using “one-click” enabling them to only pay for articles they are interested in reading.
According to Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, the feature will “should be a major win-win for both media organizations and the public” and will enable media companies to charge a higher price for single articles than monthly subscriptions.
Rolling out next month, this platform will allow media publishers to charge users on a per article basis with one click.
This enables users who would not sign up for a monthly subscription to pay a higher per article price for when they want to read an occasional article.…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2023
Attempting To Make Peace With Publishers
Since he took over, Musk has made many changes, some of which have been to the detriment of the company. For instance, last month, he implemented labels such as “Government-funded media” which implied that the labeled media house is state-affiliated.
He attached the label on a number of media accounts such as National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service(PBS), and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation(CBC), a move that resulted in a lot of backlash from users and NPR quitting Twitter.
Several other media houses including WBUR, Hawaii Public Radio, and LAist also chose to quit the app in support of NPR.
In an attempt to win the platforms back, Twitter has since introduced subscriptions to enable publishers to monetize their content by allowing their readers to subscribe to articles on a monthly basis.
In an April 29 Tweet Musk said:
Support content creators around the world in near and far away places! For many this represents a vital source of income and enables them to put more time into creating great content for you.
According to Musk, the Twitter Subscriptions, which was previously known as Super Follows, would not keep any of the money for the first 12 months. Afterward, Twitter would take 10% of the subscriptions as fees.
The new pay-per-article feature also seems to be set to lure back publishers and creators. Musk has even gone further to pursue creators directly saying that they should upload their podcasts on Twitter.
You should upload your podcasts to this platform
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 30, 2023
Concerning the new feature, no more information has been provided. Musk merely stated that it would be released this month. It is unclear what type of accounts and media sites can charge for each article. The amount of the platform’s commission has also not yet been disclosed by Twitter’s owner.
Can Musk Save Twitter From Massive Losses and Debt?
Musk has also made a number of adjustments to Twitter’s business model in an attempt to increase revenue at Twitter and saves the company’s valuation.
This is after the company’s advertising income dropped last year in the lead-up to his on-again, off-again acquisition that was eventually completed and closed.
Right off the bat, Musk reduced the social media platform’s workforce from 7500 employees to 1500 workers in a bid to reduce redundant roles and cut down expenses.
Musk then went on to introduce a subscription for the Twitter account verification blue check mark for $8 a month. He also brought a gold check mark for organizations to subscribe to at $1000 a month.
However, this contributed to the loss of advertisers since verified accounts enabled companies to be distinguished and they would use this as an avenue to market their products which generated massive income for Twitter.
Aside from adding subscriptions which will start bringing streaming income in a year, Musk also discontinued Twitter’s free API in order to introduce a new one that charges users.
It now costs business customers nearly $50,000 per month to access the new API which has caused some organizations and businesses, like the New York City Transit Authority, to stop using Twitter integration or shut down the website.
Unfortunately, all these moves have not been enough to offset the loss incurred due to the exit of advertisers hence the company is still billions in debt. The company’s value stands at half of what it was since Musk acquire it and many believe it will soon fall apart as users move to other platforms such as Bluesky.
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