Twitter has finally revealed what everyone has been expecting for quite a while. On Thursday, the micro-messaging platform revealed its first foray into subscriptions with Twitter Blue, a new tier of service rolling out in Canada and Australia.
Meant for people who live on Twitter or deal with a large volume of tweets, Twitter Blue offers a few notable perks, including Undo Tweet. The feature lets second-guessers take back knee-jerk remarks or correct mistakes, either in preview mode ahead of publishing or up to 30 seconds after a message goes live. Given the vitriol that often bathes the social-verse, it’s too bad that it’s not more broadly available.
Other options include bookmarked folders that let people save and organize tweets, a new reading mode to make lengthy tweet threads easier on the eyes and dedicated customer support. Twitter is also adding a few design-oriented features, like the ability to choose app color themes and tweak the icon that shows up on the smartphone home screen.
Whether users will find that worth a few bucks per month — 3.49 Canadian dollars or 4.49 Australian dollars — remains to be seen. Investors seem somewhat uncertain as well, with Twitter shares ticking up more than 2 percent on the news before sliding down.
Some of the uncertainty may extend to the company itself, which is notably refraining from globally launching Twitter Blue or bringing it to the U.S.
But if Twitter Blue can prove successful, it could be an added revenue driver for the company. Right now, it makes most of its money from advertisers, with a whopping 86 percent of revenue coming from its ad business.
It’s no secret that the company has been exploring paid content, with acquisitions for Scroll, a subscription ad-blocking service, and newsletter business Revue. But individuals or brands concerned that Twitter might one day abandon free accounts just to chase that can breathe easy.
“And for those wondering, no, a free Twitter is not going away, and never will,” wrote Twitter product managers, Sara Beykpour and Smita Mittal Gupta, in a blog post. “This subscription offering is simply meant to add enhanced and complementary features to the already existing Twitter experience for those who want it.”