Elon Musk’s new Twitter plan may impact its user base

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After acquiring Twitter for $44 billion, Tesla and SpaceX’s chief Elon Musk has taken the microblogging platform private. Since Musk took over in late October this year, he has been at the helm of the company’s day-to-day affairs and is quick to execute a new plan for Twitter. From firing top four executives to announcing $8 per month account verification fees with blue ticks, Elon Musk’s new Twitter plan seems to be hastier and scrappily done than been strategic.

Elon Musk’s new Twitter plan

For instance, Musk announced a $20 per month account verification fee for blue checkmarks early this week. However, many Twitter users including author Stephen King rejected Musk’s paid verification plan. Following that, Musk faced criticism and outrage from Twitter users.

That forced Musk to lower the fee and come up with a counteroffer of $8 per month that will offer the user with blue tick along with other benefits like a priority in replies, mentions and searches, and posting longer video and audio content.

And for the existing verified accounts or users, if they don’t start paying fees over the next 90 days, they are likely to lose their blue ticks.

The new plan hasn’t gone down well with Twitterati

So far Elon Musk’s new plan hasn’t gone down well with Twitterati, which some analysts and social media influencers believe may impact Twitter’s close to $400 million user base.

“Influencer sentiments were largely negative about the announcement to charge fees for being a verified user on Twitter,” said Smitarani Tripathy, Social Media Analyst – GlobalData, a research firm.

“They opine that the ‘blue tick’ adds credibility to the individual’s profiles and remains relevant for influencers who want to amplify their profile, but do not think that journalists, academicians, and other small business accounts will be willing to pay an annual charge to retain it,” added Tripathy.

Does the blue tick adds value to users?

According to Chris Evans, Principal Analyst of IT Architecting, the blue tick adds no value to most users.

“I expect 90% of users will simply let the blue tick expire. Perhaps even 95 or 99%, because it adds no value to most users. I can also see celebs moving ever closer to instagram, rather than Twitter, as a result,” said Evans.

Most Twitter users feel Elon Musk’s motive is to make money by charging fees. A number of them are unlikely to pay the monthly fees as they don’t earn big sums as well as willing to give up the blue check mark in their accounts.

With Elon Musk’s new Twitter plan in place to charge fees, a good number of users may opt out of the microblogging platform and look for other platforms and apps.

Increase Twitter’s revenue and repay the debt

For Musk, Twitter has been an overpriced acquisition, for which he even raised loans. His priority has been to increase Twitter’s revenue and repay the debt. However, Twitter mainly earns revenue from advertisement and data licensing. In 2021, Twitter’s overall global revenue crossed the $5 billion mark from $3.72 billion in 2020.

Compared to other social media networks like Facebook. Twitter’s problem has been its inconsistent revenue and growth, often marked with losses. And that’s why Musk has been pushing his new plan for Twitter.

In doing so, Musk even fired Twitter’s four top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, General counsel Sean Edgett and Policy chief Vijaya Gadde last week.

With the company’s top brass shown the exit doors, the maverick businessman has become Twitter’s new owner as well as the CEO. And there’s a high possibility Musk could lay off employees in the near term.

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