Elon Musk has discussed putting all of Twitter behind a paywall even as the number of users has reportedly soared.
After laying off thousands of staffers days following his $44 billion purchase of the platform, and then announcing that Twitter “Blue” will increase its price to $7.99 per month from $2.99 and automatically provide account verification in the form of a “blue check” to anyone who pays the fee, the hands-on Musk is discussing making Twitter a subscription service, according to Platformer, a Silicon Valley substack run by former editor of The Verge Casey Newton.
Both Musk and Sacks have discussed the idea in recent meetings, Platformer reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. One such plan might allow everyone to use Twitter for a limited amount of time each month but require a subscription to continue browsing, the source said.
It’s not clear how serious Musk is about a potential paywall. But the story said he’s discussed it with adviser David Sacks, a venture capitalist who’s been working with Musk on his takeover of the company.
“Both Musk and Sacks have discussed the idea in recent meetings,” the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter. “One such plan might allow everyone to use Twitter for a limited amount of time each month but require a subscription to continue browsing, the person said.”
Twitter did not respond to the reporter’s request for comment about a paywall.
But Newton writes that it “does not appear imminent,” because the focus right now is relaunching Blue with expanded verification.
The fee service suffered a disastrous introduction last weekend, as it promised to start handing out blue checks for the $7.99 fee then announced it would delay the launch until after Election day. Yet late Monday, Musk shared a meme of a t-shirt on the site late Monday that bears the comment, “Your feedback is appreciated. Now pay $8.”
Shortly before that, Musk tweeted: “Twitter usage is at an all-time high lol,” adding “I just hope the services don’t melt!”
Twitter’s sales team was told that since Musk’s takeover on Oct. 27, Twitter’s monetizable daily user (mDAU) growth has accelerated to more than 20 percent, while “Twitter’s largest market, the US, is growing even more quickly,” The Verge reported, citing an internal FAQ it obtained.
It said that Twitter has added 15 million users, “crossing the quarter billion mark” since the end of the second quarter in June, the last time the company publicly reported financial data as a public company.
The figure suggests that despite a series of high profile celebs bailing on the platform, most legacy users have stuck around and Twitter is drawing in a critical mass of new users.
“And these are very early days,” Musk tweeted on Sunday. “As Twitter becomes by far the most reliable source of truth, it will be indispensable.”