With new features to attract more paying tweet customers, Twitter has launched the first expansion of its Twitter Blue paid subscription service, with users in the United States and New Zealand now able to join alongside those in Australia and Canada.
Twitter Blue, which was initially launched in June, allows users to pay a monthly charge to obtain access to a variety of extra tweet capabilities, such as undo tweets, new color themes in the mobile app, and more.
Users would be able to obtain much more out of the Blue offering for the low price of $US2.99 per month, and Twitter has also introduced a new promo drive to support the program's expansion.
As previously stated, the initial Twitter Blue offering allowed access to the following capabilities upon launch:
Undo tweets - Within 30 seconds after posting, you can retract your posted tweets.
Folders for Bookmarks - Sort your saved tweets into topic folders.
Reader Mode - Turn tweet threads into clean, easy-to-read text
Color theme - Choose from a variety of colors for your app's UX display.
App icon - Choose from a variety of personalized app icons for your device.
Dedicated Support - Blue users also get access to dedicated customer support
It's all good, though not exactly stunning everyone. Undoing tweets is not the same as editing tweets, regardless of how Twitter attempts to portray it, and aesthetic options and reader mode aren't exactly 'must-have' features, even for the most devoted twitter enthusiast.
That's why Twitter is now hoping to broaden the Blue service in order to spice things up for the millions of people who can now use it.
First, on iOS and desktop, Twitter is introducing 'ad-free articles.'
This is basically Scroll on Twitter, integrating Twitter's ownership of Scroll, with the process allowing users to visit a variety of websites ad-free through their Blue membership, with Twitter splitting earnings with publishing partners.
“On iOS and desktop, Twitter Blue members will enjoy a fast-loading, ad-free reading experience when they visit many of their favorite news sites available in the US from Twitter, such as The Washington Post, L.A. Times, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, Reuters, The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, Insider and The Hollywood Reporter.”
Twitter states it will aim to include more publications as it expands the Blue program, which, depending on your reading habits, might make it worth the $3 per month.
With the reappearance of Nuzzel in tweet form, Twitter is also integrating another important Scroll feature.
Blue customers will now be able to see the most-shared stories within their Twitter network over the last 24 hours, emphasizing the important trends of interest among your twitter community, as shown in this sample.
That can be a terrific way to stay on top of important stories and things you might have missed otherwise, based on what's trending among the community you've chosen through your following list.
Nuzzel has always been a useful tool to have, and the possibility of getting it back in some form is another potentially beneficial incentive for the Twitter Blue program's second stage.
Furthermore, Twitter has launched a new tool that allows users to select which features are shown in their bottom of feed navigation bar for quick access to the app's functions, which is significantly more useful than the previous aesthetic option.
Finally, Twitter has added 'Twitter Labs' access, which will allow Blue subscribers to try out new features that are currently in development.
This was added to Twitter's Blue offering late last month and hence nothing new, but it may still be enticing to people on the fence about whether to sign up. Blue users currently have access to two beta features: longer video uploads and pinned discussions. As numerous ideas are put to the test over time, that list will grow and shrink.
The new features make Twitter Blue a lot more appealing, with the Scroll and Nuzzel capabilities delivering useful functionality in distinct ways that could help justify the monthly fee.
Paying for undoing tweets - which you could just delete and resend - and a few color improvements hasn't been a big attraction for Twitter Blue thus far, and despite the fact that it's been available in Australia and Canada for several months, there doesn't appear to be much hype or buzz surrounding the option.
Indeed, as per Sensor Tower's research of the first half of September (as part of a study into Super Follows subscriptions), Twitter made $600 in total from subscriptions in Canada at that time, which includes money from both Super Follows and Twitter Blue users who signed up.
As such, while we don't have exact numbers, it's fair to presume that Twitter Blue numbers haven't flourished yet – but now that a great deal of people have access to the option, as well as a variety of new features, perhaps now is the time for Twitter Blue to take off and become a bigger factor to consider for more app users.
Even if only 1% of Twitter users sign up and pay that monthly fee, that would still translate to more than $6 million per month (+$18 million per quarter) in direct revenue for the company, a considerable boost for what is essentially a small technological improvement to the network.
No doubt, the combination of Scroll and Nuzzel is significant, and both acquisitions come with their own set of costs that Twitter must recover, so it's important not to downplay the importance of what Twitter has to earn to break even with these parts. But, on balance and over time, it appears that Twitter Blue, even at low interest rates, might be a winner. And that's before we look at what else could be coming to the Blue package.
The next question is whether this will encourage more individuals to return to Twitter and help the service expand over time.
It does seem unlikely, given that the features here are mostly targeted at 'power users’ and those who are already accustomed to the app.
Nevertheless, it's another source of revenue, and you can bet that more than 1% of users will sign up.
We'll know soon enough, as Blue is now accessible in the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.