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Explained: What is Twitter Blue and how can it benefit the platform, its users

Twitter is rolling out Twitter Blue to users in the United States and New Zealand. What is this subscription based service, and how could it benefit the platform and its users?

Written by Mehab Qureshi , Edited by Explained Desk | Pune |
Updated: November 10, 2021 7:26:12 pm
Twitter Blue has been designed to drive engagement among creators and users.

Microblogging site Twitter is rolling out its subscription based service, Twitter Blue, to users in the United States and New Zealand, the company announced Tuesday. With Twitter Blue subscription, the social media giant is looking to diversify its revenue streams.

The subscription service offers a host of features such as the ability to undo tweets and read news articles without advertisements, among others.

So what is Twitter Blue and how could it benefit the platform, its users; we explain.

What is the Twitter Blue service?

Twitter Blue comes as a serious player in the realm of paid subscription-based services — a move that has been propelled by a number of recent investments including the company’s Tip Jar and Super Follow features. This new service is designed to drive engagement among creators and users.

It is worth noting that Twitter is looking to find new sources of revenue. In January, the company acquired Revue, a service that enables people to create newsletters, and said it would take a small percentage of subscription fees from newsletter writers. In May, the company bought Scroll, a subscription company that created ad-free reading services for publishers.

However, in June, the company announced Twitter Blue, its only subscription based service that plans to charge users a small fee in exchange for extra features.

Twitter Blue, What is Twitter Blue, Twitter Blue features, Twitter Blue explained, Indian Express Some of the features include bookmarks and the much-awaited ‘undo’ tweet.

What are some of the new features?

Some of the new features experienced on Twitter Blue is for users to get an ad-free experience on the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic and hundreds more. The company says that the subscription directly funds the journalism you read.

“In continuing our commitment to strengthen and support publishers and a free press, a portion of the revenue from Twitter Blue subscription fees goes directly to publishers within our network,” two Twitter project managers, Sara Beykpour and Smita Gupta, wrote in a blog post. “Our goal is to help each publishing partner make 50 percent more per person than they would’ve made from serving ads to that person.”

The company is also releasing Top Articles, for all the people who miss Nuzzel, a service offered by Scroll that alerted users about articles that were widely shared by people they followed on Twitter. The company shut down Nuzzel when it acquired Scroll.

Subscribers will now easily view the most-shared articles in their network over the last 24 hours, so they can immediately see what’s important in their community. This gives subscribers a new and complementary way of catching up on the latest on Twitter.

Meanwhile, subscribers will be able to upload videos of up to 10-minutes (as opposed to the standard 2 minutes for non-subscribers) via longer video uploads and pin their favourite conversations to the top of their DM’s with Pinned Conversations.

Further, users can add more flair to their Twitter experience with exclusive app icons and colourful themes and Bookmark Folders. The company has also introduced Custom Navigation, which gives subscribers the ability to customise what appears in their navigation bar for quick access to the Twitter destinations they care about most.
Finally, subscribers will also get early access to the new features — before anyone else. These features might eventually become available to the rest of Twitter.

What is Undo Tweets?

The most awaited feature is Undo Tweet, where subscribers can preview Tweets before they are sent. Subscribers will have a time limit of 60 seconds to preview and make changes to a tweet before it’s made public. “The ability to undo tweets before posting may help users avoid unwanted typos or other errors in their posts,”as pointed out by sci-fi author John Scalzi. Interestingly, Twitter still hasn’t introduced the “Edit Tweet” feature.

Subscribers will also have access to Reader, which turns long threads into an easier-to-read experience. They can also change the text size within Reader to tailor their experience even further.

What are the plans?

Twitter Blue, which will cost $2.99 (roughly Rs 222) per month in the US, across iOS, Android and web. It is however, unclear when Twitter Blue service will be made available in India.

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