Full-time CEO of Twitter and part-time Tesla enthusiast said Elon Musk on Saturday that users of its social media platform will be able to avoid media subscriptions and pay per article starting “next month”. Musk says Twitter’s upcoming “one-click” service should be “a big win-win for both media organizations and the public” by allowing media companies to charge a higher price per article to readers who don’t would necessarily pay a full subscription fee.
Musk didn’t say what percentage Twitter would collect for itself or what terms media publishers would have to abide by.
As with all of Musk’s timelines, it’s best to take the “next month” estimate as an absolutely favorable scenario for the arrival of Twitter’s pay-as-you-go microtransaction service. But I don’t doubt Musk’s urgency. Twitter is in a race to grow revenue, even as it alienates longtime users and antagonizes media organizations — both of which are actively testing water elsewhere. The latest Twitter alternative of the day is Bluesky, which recently added Twitter royalty Darth, Dril, and AOC to its ranks.
Musk is desperate to find new sources of income and other sources of income to pay off debt while valuing the company at less than half of what he paid for it. Twitter Blue subscriptions not doing well enough to offset the loss of advertisers who have reportedly fled the platform since Musk’s acquisition. The company has also introduced a new API access fee structure that could cost some enterprises as much as $42,000 per month for what was previously free.