Twitter begins rolling out a new paid subscription
Twitter began rolling out a controversial new paid subscription system on Saturday, which the social network’s new owner, billionaire Elon Musk, has ordered employees to build after taking office last week.
days during the reign of Tesla’s head agency One of the world’s leading platforms for discourse and activism, his promises and provocations sparked a flurry of reactions – including warnings from the United Nations and an apology from one of the founders of Twitter.
His plan to de-moderate content on the site has caused such concern that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Saturday urged him to make respect for human rights central to the social network.
“It is Twitter’s responsibility to avoid amplifying content that leads to harming people’s rights,” Al-Turk said in his open letter.
Musk Reports Lay off The platform’s entire human rights team “wasn’t, in my view, an encouraging start,” he said.
Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006 and stepped down as CEO last year, took to Twitter to apologize for the site’s growth so quickly a day after Musk fired nearly half of the company’s 7,500 employees.
“I realize that many are angry with me,” he wrote.
The remaining employees witness a revolution in their company’s culture. Early last Friday, Musk launched his first groundbreaking project, a redesign of Twitter Blue’s opt-in option.
He reportedly told his team that the redesign must be ready for potential activation by November 7 — the day before the US midterm elections — or their jobs will be on the line.
“Sprint” to go
The platform’s mobile app on Saturday began offering an update that lets users sign up for the new version of Twitter Blue, which Musk said will cost $8 per month and is set to give users a blue checkmark and perks like fewer ads in their feeds.
Starting today, the update says, we’re adding cool new features to Twitter Blue, only on iPhones for now. Get Twitter Blue for $7.99 per month if you sign up now.
In a tweet, the California-based company’s director of product development, Esther Crawford, specified that the new service had not yet been deployed.
“The new blue hasn’t been rolled out yet – the race to our launch is on, but some people may see us make updates as we test and push changes in real time,” she wrote.
The current version of the service, which costs $5, contains premium features, such as a more comfortable reading mode.
Musk wants to add a blue flag yet to symbolize account verification, though he didn’t explain how paid accounts would be verified.
Verification was free and served as proof of the credibility of accounts for users such as governments, journalists, celebrities and sports personalities – a system put in place to prevent misinformation, but which Musk derided as “princes and peasants”.
The update also lists other benefits Musk mentioned, such as the ability to post longer video and audio messages, and fewer ads.
Ad spend has been suspended
The California-based company needs to diversify its income, relying heavily on advertising.
And with concerns that tampering with Musk’s content moderation would flood the site with hate speech and misinformation, many advertisers have reportedly put their spending on the platform on hold since buying it.
Musk has insisted that content moderation remains a priority, that the rules haven’t changed, and that he will create a board dedicated to the task.
But he also blamed “activist groups” for putting pressure on advertisers.
“We did everything we could to please the activists. We got it so wrong! They are trying to destroy free speech in America,” he wrote on Twitter on Friday.
He said the social network is losing more than $4 million a day justifying the layoffs.
On Saturday, he promised that Twitter would evolve, with more convenient sharing and search tools, and ways to monetize content for content creators.