People often express their amazement that Twitter is free, but for some people it’s not – Twitter Blue launched last year in several countries, with some extra features for anyone willing to pay $2.99 per month. Today, the service told subscribers that it is raising the price (via Matt Navara), and in the United States, it jumps up to $4.99 per month. It probably won’t break the pockets of information junkies who choose to pay for a service that still includes ads in their feed, but it might be enough to make people ask themselves if it’s worth it.
The additions in the Twitter Blue package range from extremely useful (an undo tweet window to fix typos, a customizable navigation bar, a list of top articles shared by people you follow, and ad-free access to articles on sites including The Verge) to trivial (the ability to choose between different app icons) to questionable (NFT hex profile pictures).
In an email to users, the Twitter Blue team insists the higher rate “helps us continue to build some of the features you’ve requested, improve the current ones you already love, and maintain our goal of supporting journalism.”
In particular, it does not mention Elon Musk, although the company only blamed him for a decline in second-quarter revenue compared to the previous year. Musk is now trying to back out of his deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, but in happier times he reportedly had the idea for an unnamed subscription service outside of Blue that he believed could attract more than 100 million subscribers one day.
The higher price is already in effect for new subscribers, but for early adopters, Twitter says they’ll stay locked into the original price until October and can expect to have an opportunity to cancel at least 30 days before the new price takes effect.
To keep paying customers on the hook, the Twitter Blue email teases a “more frictionless reading experience” is in the works, among other features set to launch in Twitter Blue Labs. Also not listed in the email is one reason I might stick around until at least October, if not beyond: editable tweets. Twitter seems to have picked up the pace of feature development under Parag Agrawal’s administration, and with the feature already announced and in testing, I can wait to see if it’s included as a Twitter Blue benefit at launch.