Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, announced in a series of tweets on Saturday that the company plans to introduce a new blue subscription service that will show less advertising to users, including an ad-free tier. This announcement comes as the social media platform has faced significant economic uncertainty following Musk’s takeover in October.
Musk stated, “Ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in coming weeks,” and added that “there will be a higher priced subscription that allows zero ads.”
This would be a significant change in business model for Twitter, which has traditionally relied on targeted advertising to generate revenue. The company launched a paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, in mid-December which grants users a blue verification tick for a monthly fee.
Twitter Blue is currently available in the United States, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan for $11 a month on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems. Web subscriptions are also available for $8 per month or $84 per year at a discounted rate.
The recent economic uncertainty for Twitter stems from Musk’s decision to fire about half of the company‘s 7,500-strong workforce late last year, leading to concerns that the company was insufficiently staffed to carry out content moderation and causing governments and advertisers to become wary. Musk’s strategy is to reduce costs while increasing revenue, and he believes the new subscription service will help reach this goal.
Twitter, under Musk‘s leadership, has been plagued by chaos, with mass layoffs, the return of banned accounts, and the suspension of journalists critical of the South African-born billionaire. The introduction of a new subscription service and reduction of ads may be an effort to address these issues and stabilize the platform’s revenue stream.