It hasn’t even been a month since Elon Musk bought Twitter. However, the site has already begun to seriously decline not only in the number of users it has but in the type of content being posted. From a proliferation of hate speech to Musk’s decision to allow people to buy a verified blue badge, it’s not looking good for the social media network. And now, Musk is apparently considering putting all of Twitter behind a paywall. It’s like he’s trying to shut it down!
- You might have to pay to use Twitter at all. According to Platform, a substack run by former editor of The Verge, Casey Newton, Musk has been discussing the possibility of putting Twitter behind a paywall as a way to raise revenue. They say that Musk and his advisor, venture capitalist David Sacks, have been discussing the idea but haven’t reached a final decision. However, the general idea is pretty clear: most or all users of Twitter would need to pay a subscription fee if they want to keep using it.
- What would a Twitter paywall look like? That all depends. A person familiar with the issue told Platformer that users might be able to use Twitter for a certain amount of time/number of days every month before the payment kicks in if they want to stay active. How much any such subscription would be hasn’t been discussed.
- If it does happen, it likely won’t be soon. At the moment, it seems as though what’s left of the Twitter staff (more on that later) is busy trying to roll out Musk’s verification program. How many people are willing to shell out $8 per month for a tick that is now essentially meaningless remains to be seen, but the tech needed to roll the feature out is likely complex and time-consuming. That’s likely to keep the company’s attention for a while to come. In other words, Twitter won’t be going behind a paywall for a while yet (if at all).
- Speaking of Twitter’s skeleton staff… Musk unceremoniously fired roughly 50% of Twitter staff, per TMZ (and 90% of the company’s staff in India, according to Bloomberg) last week. However, he apparently had a change of heart within hours and begged many of them to come back.
- Rumors first began circulating on Blind, an app for employees to gossip anonymously about their jobs. Soon after, the news reached public Slack channels. “Sorry to @- everybody on the weekend but I wanted to pass along that we have the opportunity to ask folks that were left off if they will come back. I need to put together names and rationales by 4 PM PST on Sunday,” a message from a manager to employees read, per Platformer. “I’ll do some research but if any of you have been in contact with folks who might come back and who we think will help us, please nominate before 4.” What an absolute mess.