Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Twitter full-time and a part-time Tesla fan, announced on Saturday that his social media platform‘s users would be able to forego media subscriptions and pay per article starting “next month.” According to Musk, Twitter’s upcoming “one-click” service “should be a major win-win for both media orgs & the public” by enabling media businesses to charge readers who might not necessarily pay a full membership rate a higher per-article payment.
Musk did not specify the proportion that Twitter will keep for itself or the rules that media companies would have to follow.
The “next month” estimate is should be seen as the very best case scenario for the launch of Twitter’s pay-as-you-go micro-transaction service, as is the case with all Musk timeframes. Musk’s desperation, however, is undeniable. While alienating long-time users and infuriating media organizations, both of which are actively exploring other options, Twitter is in a race to increase revenue. Bluesky, which recently welcomed Twitter royalty Darth, Dril, and AOC to their ranks, is the most popular alternative to Twitter right now.
The pay-per-article announcement by Twitter comes as Musk tries to woo creators to the struggling platform.
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Musk is enticing podcast producers worldwide to start charging for their shows through Twitter Subscriptions (formerly known as Super Follows), promising that “Twitter will keep none of the money” for the first 12 months. Musk is also directly courting specific podcast producers.
While valuing the business at less than half of what he paid for it, Musk is desperate to increase the number of monetized eyes and other revenue streams in order to pay off debt. Twitter Blue memberships aren’t doing well enough to make up for the loss of advertisers who have allegedly stopped using the site since Musk took control. The business has also implemented a new fee structure for API access, which some businesses may have to pay up to $42,000 per month for.