December 7, 2021

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Twitter’s Grand Plan Is Beginning To Take Shape

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You now can undo a tweet—for a price.

Twitter on Thursday debuted what it’s calling Twitter Blue, the first in a major push by the company to introduce subscription services. Twitter Blue’s most prominent feature is a 30-second window to correct a post, getting a little closer to the editing function many users have wanted for years. Other Twitter Blue features include a tool for organizing bookmarks on the app and the ability to turn lengthy Twitter threads into more readable paragraphs. For now, it is only available in Australia and Canada and costs about $2.99 a month.

At first glance, Twitter Blue encompasses only a few small features available only in two small markets. But it is an initial building block in a much grander plan for the company.

Twitter, for now, earns the vast majority of its $3.7 billion in annual sales from display advertising. But it is keen to diversify its revenue away from the temperamental nature of the ads business and take advantage of a recent shift at the company to quicken the pace of new products.

And thus, the introduction of Twitter Blue. Twitter plans to bolster its offerings in the future, inevitably rolling it out to more countries in the process. “Our hope with this initial phase is to gain a deeper understanding of what will make your Twitter experience more customized, more expressive, and generally speaking more 🔥,” Twitter’s Sara Beykpour and Smita Mittal Gupta write in a blog post introducing the service.

There’s more like this in the works at Twitter. The company plans to allow users with large followings on the app to begin charging access to audio chat rooms, possibly allowing Twitter to eventually take a cut of that revenue. It’s also working on allowing influencers to offer a monthly subscription package called Super Follows, essentially a paywalled section of the site featuring additional content from those influencers. Last month, Twitter introduced a tipping feature, allowing users to send money to a select group of widely followed members of the twitterati.

Twitter will need to add several new features to meet ambitious goals laid out at its February investor meeting, the first such gathering the company has hosted in four years. The company hopes to grow its daily users from around 200 million to closer to 315 million, while revenue more than doubles to $7.5 billion in 2023.

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