Hey there! Big news for Twitter users: from April 15th, it will cost $7/month to have full access to the platform. Elon Musk has announced that only paying customers will have their tweets shown in the "For You" tab, will be able to participate in polls, and will have preferential showing in replies. Even those with a "blue checkmark" will not be exempt from these new changes.
Many people are not happy about this, and they think it's wrong to charge money for a service that is supposed to be free. However, I think it's worth considering that Musk is taking a significant risk by trying to fund a social network with user payments instead of targeted ads. Nobody has ever tried this at such a large scale, and it could be a fascinating experiment.
Furthermore, this move by Musk has motivated people to find alternatives to Twitter, such as Mastodon, which has seen tremendous growth. This is a good thing because it shows that people are voting with their feet and looking for different options if they don't like what Twitter is offering.
I always favour business model experimentation and am happy to pay $7 to see where this experiment goes. It's exciting to see what will happen in the future of social media!
Next, How will governments and politicians react to this move?
As Twitter moves towards a subscription-based model, limiting access to certain features for paying customers only, we'll likely see reactions from governments and politicians worldwide.
On the one hand, some view this as a positive development. With concerns over the role of social media in spreading misinformation and polarising political discourse, the idea of a social network that isn't fueled by targeted advertising is a step in the right direction. If Twitter succeeds in its user payment experiment, it could be a model for other platforms to follow.
On the other hand, there are concerns about the potential impact on freedom of speech and access to information. If only paying customers were given preferential treatment in the "For You" tab and replies, this could marginalise voices that can't afford to pay. Furthermore, if Twitter becomes more exclusive, it could create alternative platforms that cater to different groups, which could exacerbate political polarisation.
Governments and politicians may also be concerned about the potential for Twitter to become a monopoly if it successfully transitions to a subscription-based model. This could lead to calls for regulation or antitrust action to prevent Twitter from having too much control over the public conversation.
Overall, it's clear that Twitter's move towards a subscription-based model will have significant implications for the future of social media and political discourse beyond just stopping bot accounts.