People frequently express their amazement that Twitter is free, but for some people, it isn’t — Twitter Blue launched last year in several countries, tacking on a few extra features for anyone willing to pay $2.99 per month. Today the service told subscribers it’s increasing the price (via Matt Navara), and in the US, it’s jumping up to $4.99 a month. That probably won’t break the pockets of information addicts who are choosing to pay for a service that still includes advertisements in their feed, but it might be enough to make people ask themselves if it’s worthwhile.
The add-ons 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 from different app icons) to questionable (NFT hexagon profile pics).
In an email to users, the Twitter Blue team insists the higher rate “helps us continue to build some of the features you’ve been asking for, improve upon the current ones you already love and sustain our mission of supporting journalism.”
Notably, it doesn’t mention Elon Musk, even though the company just blamed him for a Q2 revenue dip compared to the year prior. Musk is now attempting to exit his deal to acquire Twitter for $44 billion, but in happier times, he’d reportedly floated the idea of an unnamed subscription service outside of Blue that he thought could attract more than 100 million subscribers someday.
The higher price is already taking effect for new subscribers, but for the early adopters, Twitter says they will stay locked in at the original price until October and can expect to receive an opportunity to cancel at least 30 days before the new rate takes effect.
To keep paying customers on the hook, the Twitter Blue email teases a “more frictionless reading experience” in the works, among other features set to launch in Twitter Blue Labs. One reason I might stick around until at least October, if not beyond, is also not listed in the email: 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.