31st March 2023 - By: alda09x024

“Paid Social Media Will Become the Only Social Media That Matters”- Elon Musk

Twitter logo on phone app

Twitter is outlining its plan to remove ‘legacy’ verification checkmarks in the app this week (users that are not paying for a blue tick). In doing this Elon Musk wants to address Twitter’s challenges with bots and revenue. Only allowing people who pay for a blue tick to use the app is unlikely despite Musk being optimistic.

To recap, as part of his initial steps in the takeover of the app, Elon talked of his new vision of Twitter Blue. This involves charging $8 for verification checkmarks in the app. The concept does seem simple, Twitter can generate quick easy revenue by selling blue ticks to people who want them which many users in fact do. However this also comes with its downsides and risks.

The reason Musk wants to turn to paid social media

  • Elon sees introducing this verification as a way to tackle the platforms problem with bots because spammers and scammers can not create massive networks of bots, if they wanted to they would need to pay $8 per account.
  • At first, Elon thought subscriptions would eventually account for half of Twitter’s revenue. That would imply the platform is anticipating Twitter Blue will generate approximately $590m per quarter for the business, based on the performance reports that Twitter provided before he took over. That would expect around 24m clients joining to pay Elon and Co. $8 each month for a blue tick.
  • Twitter is also hoping to boost revenue with its new Verification For Organisations feature which will see businesses pay $1,000 to get a special gold checkmark on the app. As previously mentioned Musk hopes the removal of legacy checkmarks should also encourage some of those users to start paying to keep their blue tick.

Negative effects of paid social media media

  • When you begin to sell blue ticks you immediately destroy the value of them. The famous twitter verification tick is a mark of notability and as soon as you make that mark of credibility available for anybody to purchase for a reasonably small cost, the blue tick becomes irrelevant.
  • Another issue is that Elon Musk has massively over estimated how many people would actually pay $8 for an image of a blue tick. With the current cost-of-living crisis the majority of people do not have spare money to spend on non-necessities like a tick on twitter.

In recent weeks Twitter’s blue tick verification has gone wild. Well-known celebrities are losing their blue tick, others aren’t and some are desperately trying to get rid of it. After Elon Musk introduced the verification subscription those with blue ticks tried to argue they hadn’t paid the subscription. So when blue ticks disappeared for most, those who’s ticks still appeared were almost scrutinised for it. Something that originally boasted high status is now seen as something for people with money. Its status and value has decreased due to its paywall. Eventually, all the blue ticks returned, with blue tick holders still confused of what happened. But it raises the question of how long is left until the blue tick becomes obsolete?

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