- Twitter Blue is Twitter’s subscription service that unlocks additional features.
- The company has announced its intention to increase the price of Twitter Blue from $2.99 per month to $4.99 per month.
- Despite the price increase, Twitter Blue is still lacking the features people want.
Twitter Blue is the social network's subscription service that unlocks special features, but with the news that its price is increasing comes further discontent about what it offers.
Twitter recently confirmed that it intends to increase the price of Twitter Blue from $2.99 per month to $4.99 per month starting in October. That's a notable bump, and no new features are being added. And even those already there are underwhelming according to subscribers and people observing the social space.
"The initial introduction of Twitter's subscription concept Twitter Blue hasn't been solidified as a success by users, yet the platform announced an upcoming increase in price," social media consultant Katie McKiever told Lifewire via direct message. "The biggest critique I see expressed of the current subscription is that the fee isn't justified given the features you receive." Yet, that fee is increasing.
Twitter Blue Misses the Mark on Features
Twitter Blue comes with a handful of features for that $4.99 monthly outlay. They include an "undo send" feature that lets people cancel a tweet for a short time after sending it. The ability to customize aspects of the Twitter app is among the few features people appreciate. Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman says that's the only reason he currently pays for Twitter Blue.
Other features include setting an NFT as a user's profile picture and ad-free articles from publishers that are signed up to the Twitter Blue Publisher network. Is that enough to justify a price hike to $4.99 per month? The initial response on Twitter, of all places, suggests not.
"This change 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," Twitter said in an email to subscribers—perhaps overestimating how much that particular feature is used. Considering it's a feature that's likely costing Twitter a pretty penny, it's one that few seem to point to when saying why they pay for Twitter Blue.
Some of those that do pay are considering canceling their subscription as a result of the price increase. Social media consultant Matt Navarra tweeted about the news and received messages suggesting the features don’t justify the price Twitter is asking. “I would have extended Twitter Blue after October, but there is nothing beyond a Logo and theme colors that make it [worth] $5/m. I’ll cancel after October,” Jeremy Molina, a tech blogger, tweeted.
The Features People Really Want Are Nowhere to Be Seen
The big thing Twitter users say they would be willing to pay for is the one the company seems unwilling to put on the table—an ad-free timeline. Browsing Twitter using the company's own apps and website means being bombarded by ads—Twitter's way of making money.
But if you use apps from third-party developers, those ads disappear, although other features like Spaces, Communities, and polls go with them. Would people pay to rid themselves of the ads and still get access to those first-party features? Many say they would, and crucially, a lot of them aren't already paying up.
"I believe Twitter Blue offering a no-ads experience for its subscribers would be a valuable feature," McKiever confirmed. It's perhaps the feature that would give people enough of a reason to pay Twitter for a service that has been free since its inception in 2006. The idea that people don't want to pay for Twitter is likely a fallacy—but they want value for their money. Right now, that means the removal of ads.
A real edit button would be another step in the right direction. Twitter Blue currently lets people' unsend' a tweet and while similar, it's very different in practice. Unsending a tweet deletes it within a specific timeframe. Editing a tweet would allow people to fix typos, a common request. Another is little more than Twitter peacocking.
"Two big features that I hear time and time again that would make Twitter Blue invaluable would be either a true editing tweet feature or an exclusive profile display badge," McKiever says.