Elon Musk has confirmed that Twitter will no longer be free for certain category of persons.
Although the billionaire has not yet finalised his acquisition of Twitter, he is already pushing hard for new changes to come to the platform.
Elon Musk is in a deal to buy the bird’s app for $44bn (£34.6bn).
Commenting on his reasons for buying Twitter, Musk said he wants the app to be better than it is and that he would introduce new features.
By this, he means that Twitter “has tremendous potential.”
He had also said that he wanted Twitter to promote free speech and functional democracy.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.
“Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
Nevertheless, despite the lofty ideas Musk has for the platform, some changes might not go down well with users.
Recall, therefore, that Techuncode had reported that following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, users would see changes as regards using the app.
Also, in the said report, Techuncode equally mentioned that Elon Musk might make users pay before using Twitter.
This was following comments from the billionaire during the process of buying the social media company.
Musk had, in a tweet, hinted that Twitter, which has been a free-for-use application, should become subscription-based.
It meant users would have to subscribe to use Twitter just like they do music and video streaming platforms like Netflix and Apple Music.
However, when Techuncode made the report, many Twitter users decried the plan to make the social media platform subscription-based.
Some doubted that the billionaire would make the platform subscription-based.
However, Musk has confirmed the move to be true.
In a series of tweets, the billionaire said Twitter will no longer be free for a certain category of persons.
He said that platform will now charge government and corporations to use the app.
According to him, government and commercial users will pay some charges to be able to use the app.
Also, the billionaire quickly added that Twitter remains free for casual users.
Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022
According to him:
“Ultimately, the downfall of the Freemasons was giving away their stonecutting services for nothing.”
“Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users.”
Questions and challenges Musk must answer and or face if Twitter becomes subscription-based:
Musk may face some challenges if goes ahead with the plan of charging some people.
For instance, how big does a company have to be before you charge it to use Twitter?
You probably don’t want The Coca-Cola Company to pay the same rate as a local brewery, for example. But if not, how do you differentiate?
Do you scale charges based on number of followers (which might not reflect a company’s size), or revenue (which would need validation), or something else altogether?
And how much do you charge, even on a tiered system?
Ask too much and you’ll push people away — reducing the network effect that gives social media much of its value in the first place.
Too little and it won’t make a difference to your revenue. And so on and so forth.
These aren’t insoluble questions, but they’re not exactly simple, either.
What we can glean from this whole thing is that ordinary users will continue to use Twitter for free.
So, students, individuals will continue to tweet freely.
However, politicians and governments will pay to use Twitter.
Also, if you want to use the platform for commercial purposes, like influencer, then you will pay.
But, how Twitter would decide who pays and who doesn’t is what we might see in the coming days or weeks.
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