A report says that Twitter Blue has failed and that as of January, only about 0.2% of Twitter users in the US had paid for the subscription.
3 months ago, Elon Musk announced that Twitter users could pay $11 (about Rs. 910) monthly for a blue verification tick mark.
On Sunday, Meta Platforms announced something similar: a subscription service for $15 (roughly Rs. 1,240) that lets users get a blue verified badge if they show a government-issued ID.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg steals ideas without shame. He copied Snapchat’s “Stories” feature and called it “Facebook Stories.” He also made a copy of TikTok called “Reels,” and he made Facebook Live look like the live video app Periscope. The plan is good. Many of these copies do well on Instagram, like Stories and Reels. Even though Zuckerberg’s new subscription service looks very strange at first glance, this will likely happen. Who would pay to give their ID to Facebook? But this is only for some people who use Facebook and Instagram daily. It’s for creators, especially on Instagram, and reach is the main selling point.
Most of the time, creators make money by working with brands and posting “sponsored” content. In a post, a fitness influencer might talk about how great a specialised foam roller is. But these creators live and die by how many people “like” their posts, which is usually a measure of views. The more likes they get, the more money they can ask for sponsored content. And Meta’s new subscription service gives users “increased visibility and reach” in search and recommendations. The company is making it sound like this is about verification, but it’s really about giving some posts a better chance of going viral.
The Information says that Twitter’s subscription service has failed, and as of January 2023, only about 0.2% of Twitter’s US users had paid for subscriptions like Twitter Blue. But the plan is much more likely to work on Instagram because of the promise of reach. Many influencers will decide it’s worth $15 (about Rs. 1,240) monthly to make their content stand out.
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh thinks the new service could add $2 billion (roughly Rs. 16,500 crore) to $3 billion (roughly Rs. 24,800 crores) to Meta’s annual sales. This is a small amount compared to Meta’s $117 billion (roughly Rs. 9,68,800 crore) in sales last year, but it’s probably more than what the company is making from the metaverse. Singh said in a note that the service would also keep creators from switching to TikTok.
Its biggest effect will be to keep the most interesting creators on Meta’s platforms. This will mean that millions more people will watch Reels instead of TikTok. The subscription service is first available in New Zealand and Australia. When it comes to Europe and the US, creators will see how far $15 (roughly Rs. 1,240) takes them in terms of audience.
Creators are known to keep track of their likes and re-posts obsessively, so it will take a little while to figure out whether the subscription is helping their content. This is a complex job. According to a report in the tech newsletter Platformer, Musk told his top engineers last week that spreading his tweets to more people was their top priority. However, they ended up going too far. A day after Musk complained that his Super Bowl tweet didn’t get as many views as Joe Biden’s, his posts started showing up in everyone’s feeds. They said something bad, so Musk said he might take the feature away.
Meta should not do the same thing. If people feel like more and more ads are showing up in their feeds, they will switch to TikTok.
Zuckerberg is very good at taking ideas that aren’t making money and making them work. He did this with Stories, which made less money for Snap than it did for Meta. Meta has thought about getting users to pay for features for years but never had the guts to try. Now that Musk has shown Zuckerberg the way, it should be easier for Meta to charge for other features. This would help the company deal with a slowdown in online ad spending and pay for the tens of billions of dollars it spends on the metaverse.
Zuckerberg is also hinting with the new service that Facebook and Instagram aren’t social networking sites anymore. They are becoming increasingly like places where people go to have fun. Meta’s AI is getting more and more like TikTok, putting viral posts from people they don’t know in people’s newsfeeds instead of posts from their friends and family.
Now, Zuckerberg has to find a way to give users what they want while giving creators the attention they want. Musk needs help getting that to work for Twitter. Most likely, Zuckerberg has a better chance