Is Twitter Blue Worth It? Probably Not Yet

Unless you're a business, then maybe

Key Takeaways

  • Twitter Blue is a premium subscription service with three middling features.
  • It will launch in Canada and Australia for $3.49CAD and $4.49AUD.
  • Twitter Blue might be better for businesses than for individuals.
Closeup of a smartphone showing the Twitter Blue option.

Jeremy Zero / Unsplash

Twitter Blue lets you pay a monthly subscription to remove the worst of its annoyances—but so far, only in Canada and Australia.

The $2.99 (USD equivalent) subscription adds a reader mode, lets you undo tweets, and adds bookmark folders for organizing saved Tweets. But does anybody want these features? Shouldn’t they be built in? And who will pay?

"The first subscribers of Twitter Blue will be social media marketers and agencies that manage accounts of people that are influential," business and marketing consultant Dr. Juan Izquierdo told Lifewire via email.

Who Wants This?

Twitter says it has built Twitter Blue for power users. This first iteration, which is being trialed in Canada and Australia to "gain a deeper understanding" of how the new features might work, is pretty limited. You get a 30-second window to undo a tweet, as well as folders for bookmark organization and a reader mode. 

Arguably, these are simple features that should be built-in for everyone, and maybe they will be, eventually. Twitter’s description of the reader mode is worth mentioning, because it throws the entire messy, algorithmically ruined Twitter experience under the bus in just one sentence. "Reader Mode provides a more beautiful reading experience by getting rid of the noise," says the blog post.

These first "power user" features don’t seem compelling to regular individuals, even those who use the heck out of Twitter. But marketers might love them.

"With meme engagement taking off, businesses and users with large followings find it important to save messages in several folders," Nikita Chen, founder and CEO of luxury product authentication agency LegitGrails, told Lifewire via email. "This enables them to use them at a later point creatively or place them in folders that customer support agents can access."

This is almost like using Twitter as an equivalent to email support, and as soon as you hear it mentioned, it makes perfect sense. 

What’s in It for Twitter?

The most obvious benefit for Twitter is the subscription fee, but perhaps more important in the long term is locking users in. Right now, Twitter is just a way to share things and to talk about them. Individuals and companies might use these features for all kinds of other purposes, but those are MacGyvered together on top of this basic design. 

If Twitter can turn itself into an essential business tool, rather than just an annoying place that businesses are forced to hang out, then the service becomes way more valuable. And if it builds tools that let businesses develop their own capabilities on top, then the lock-in will be complete.

"The first subscribers of Twitter Blue will be social media marketers and agencies that manage accounts of people that are influential."

At the same time, Twitter Blue is a way to experiment with a very engaged set of users before rolling out to the masses.

"The platform wants to experiment with different revenue streams and determine what works best," says Chen. "Apart from money, they could be doing this to better understand the segments that value Twitter most, and try to adjust the platform more to their wishes and needs; an experiment of sorts."

Future Features?

What other features might Twitter add to Twitter Blue? The possibilities are almost limitless, and it will depend on Twitter’s strategy. Will Twitter Blue just make for a nicer, more customizable Twitter experience, which would benefit any individual user? Or will it be more business-focussed?

Individuals already can use several third-party Twitter apps, which let them skip ads and avoid the worst of Twitter’s algorithmic nonsense. So what could Twitter add for businesses?

Blue bird, representing Twitter, with a wry look

 PrismaIllustration/Getty Images

"Premium users might be able to DM anyone they want, similar to Linkedin," says Chen. 

That may be great for the premium users, but a nightmare for everybody else. Better could be adding Twitter’s anticipated Super Follows feature to Twitter Blue. Super Follows is a Patreon-like plan that would let users with large following charge subscribers for extra content. 

Other business-friendly features might include multi-user accounts, which would give all members of a team individual logins instead of sharing passwords like students sharing Netflix logins. 

However this goes, one thing is certain. Twitter is finally making some changes. With Twitter Spaces, Revue newsletters, and now Twitter Blue, things are getting interesting.

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