Do entrepreneurs have to pay for Twitter Blue? The pros and cons of a subscription.

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Who would have thought that a software company that charges its users could be such a controversial topic. But there’s a lot going on in the Twitter debate, and everyone’s opinion weighs in. In October 2022, Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. Soon after, he declared the platform’s legacy approach to authentication a “lords and peasants system,” which was “bull***t.” Now he’s taken a stand and changed the playing field with the new Twitter Blue program that costs $8 a month and includes the once-coveted blue tick. But who plays along and who refuses to take a seat?

Dillon Kivo is CEO of Authority Titans, founder of Kivo Daily and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Authority Playbook. He works with influential entrepreneurs and ambitious personal brands to create an online presence for them that secures their reputation and creates opportunity. Kivo has successfully secured Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram authentication for its customers and has mixed feelings about what business owners should do with Twitter’s new system.

I interviewed Kivo about why entrepreneurs should or should not pay to be verified on Twitter.

Here’s why entrepreneurs should pay for Twitter:

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Access more features

“There’s no question that paying for Twitter Blue gives you access to more features,” said Kivo. “It’s a compelling proposition.” Subscribers to the program not only get a verified blue tick once reserved for notable individuals, but they can also post longer tweets and longer videos. They have the chance to undo a tweet just before it actually goes out and they can edit some tweets within the first 30 minutes. There’s a new Top Articles section and two-factor authentication security options, as well as greater visibility.

“If you’re an existing Twitter user, these additions will definitely improve your experience,” said Kivo. Twitter users have been begging for the ability to edit tweets since the platform’s inception in 2006. Now you can edit to your heart’s content, but it will cost you money. With the new Twitter Blue revenue firmly in place, users may hope that these features continue to expand. Musk himself said he likes to hear what users want, recently tweeted that negative feedback is “great to reduce [Twitter’s] ego-based mistakes.”

Achieve better engagement

In his tweet at 25e April 2023, Musk confirmed a suspicion many had that verified accounts are now a priority. What exactly this means is shrouded in mystery, but you can be pretty sure that your tweets will appear more prominently in your followers’ timelines and maybe your replies will be set aside in some way as well. Perhaps more weight is given to your retweeted and engaging content, perhaps you are suggested when users search for who to follow.

“It makes sense for most entrepreneurs to pay $8 a month to get seen by more people in your target audience,” says Kivo. “Especially if you’re already active on Twitter, it’s like buying a cheat code that gives you rocket fuel instead of gasoline.” So why wouldn’t you? Businesses pay for premium listings on directory sites all the time. Twitter Blue is transparent; you are not trying to fool anyone that you are not paying. Thanks to years of visibility, blue ticks on Twitter give a first impression of legitimacy, so capitalize on the brand to benefit your business and think of it as a simple advertising expense.

Subscriptions are common

While the media would have you believe there’s more to it than meets the eye, at first glance Twitter’s verification program is just a software company with 450 million monthly users, looking to grow by adding a subscription service. How else does a software company make money? “Facebook makes money by showing ads; selling user data to advertisers. But how many people would rather pay and not see ads?” Kivo asked. Twitter tests that theory and establishes appetite.

“It’s perfectly normal to pay for Netflix,” Kivo said, “so why not for Twitter?” Software platforms are not free to use. Servers, data and customer support cost money, which has to be earned back somewhere. Estimates put Twitter’s ad revenue at $3 billion, while Facebook’s is said to be 10 times that. Under new management, most companies are scrapping old services and adding new ones. Musk is clearly not afraid of trial and error to find his way to Twitter success.

Access more features and achieve more engagement by adding another subscription to your list of several. That’s why entrepreneurs have to pay for Twitter Blue. But there is a flip side to this story that we explore in more detail.

Here are some reasons why business owners shouldn’t pay for Twitter.

If you don’t focus on Twitter

Twitter is by no means the only social network. Once part of only a handful of platforms, creators are now seeing results double on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, blogging or podcasting. LinkedIn’s organic engagement is currently high and podcast listeners are growing exponentially. There are plenty of other options for your time and energy. “If Twitter isn’t your main social platform, getting verified may not make sense,” says Kivo. Focus your efforts elsewhere and forget about Twitter altogether. “You can even edit your bio to tell your followers where you’re active.”

Likewise, if you can’t justify spending because you don’t see returns, forget about Twitter altogether. A social media manager used to be one person; now that job title doesn’t really exist. Each platform requires completely different skills, and so does your activity. If you’re not willing to be Twitter first, you can’t just reuse old content and expect it to fly. Go hard or go home.

You don’t like Elon Musk

If you don’t like Musk or disagree with his methods and principles, you may not want to pay to get verified on Twitter. “If you have to like and trust the CEO of a company you buy from, keep your money out of his pocket by not paying for Twitter Blue,” suggested Kivo. There are several people on this bandwagon who believe that charging Musk for verification is an abuse of power or a blatant bid for cash flow. They speak out about the possibility of impersonation, new scams, and misinformation that can arise if someone with a debit card has access to a blue check.

“Does paying for Twitter Blue mean you’re endorsing everything Musk stands for?” asks Kivo. If that’s the meaning you’ve assigned, think twice before topping up your account. You have to be able to live with yourself. If your principles are strong and stubborn and you’re willing to compromise any business benefits to stick to them, take your $8 a month elsewhere.

It will change again in the future

With all the changes that have already taken place since October 2022, there is a strong precedent for even more. Twitter slightly backtracked on removing obsolete checkmarks and reinstated them for some users who hadn’t subscribed. Who says this won’t change in the future? Perhaps Twitter Blue means blue ticks, Twitter Gold means golden ticks, and there will be a whole different class for the “notable but not paying” class of users. Who knows. Biasing your time may be the right strategy as the dust settles on every decision.

While you wait for Twitter to stabilize again, you can do other promotion instead. Kivo recommends that you “get press on notable news outlets, focus on your product and become truly notable.” A better offer means more customers, which means a bigger company. This can lead to the fame and fortune you previously associated with Twitter verification. “There are plenty of other ways to build your brand online,” adds Kivo.

Pay for Twitter if you want the extra benefits, if Twitter is a platform you’re very active on, or if you’re happy with a monthly fee for something you use and benefit from. Don’t pay for Twitter if you don’t focus on Twitter, if your dislike of Elon Musk gets in the way, or if you want to see what happens before you get involved. No one will force you anyway, the choice is all yours.