Twitter Blue Fails to Attract Verified Users, Majority of Subscribers Have Less Than 1,000 Followers
Twitter Blue, the paid subscription-based program that offers users the coveted blue checkmark next to their profile names, appears to be struggling to attract its target audience. According to recent reports, half of the Twitter Blue subscribers have less than 1,000 followers on the platform, and only a small fraction of verified accounts have subscribed to the service. The data comes as Twitter prepares to remove legacy verification checkmarks from the platform from April 1 in favor of paid checkmarks associated with Twitter Blue subscriptions.
The Mashable report reveals that there are currently 4,44,435 paying Twitter Blue subscribers, of which around 220,132 users have less than 1,000 followers, and only 6,482 legacy verified accounts have subscribed to Twitter Blue. Moreover, 2,270 paying subscribers reportedly have zero followers, while 78,059 paying subscribers have less than 100 followers. This suggests that Twitter Blue is not attracting its intended target audience of celebrities, sportspersons, journalists, and influencers.
It is unclear how many of the "current" Twitter Blue subscribers are actually paying, raising further doubts about the success of the service. Despite Twitter's attempts to incentivize users to sign up for Twitter Blue, the low uptake raises questions about the value proposition of the service and its perceived importance among users.
Twitter Blue was launched in India in February 2023, costing ₹ 900 per month on iOS and Android devices and ₹ 650 on the web. It offers users features such as an undo tweet button, a bookmark folder, and a reader mode. However, the coveted blue checkmark remains the primary draw for many users. With the removal of the legacy verified accounts, Twitter Blue aims to monetize the verification process, providing a new revenue stream for the company.
However, the move has been met with criticism from some users, including Star Trek actor William Shatner, who tweeted, "Hey @elonmusk, what's this about blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter? I've been here for 15 years giving my time & witty thoughts all for bupkis. Now you're telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free?" In response, Elon Musk defended the move, stating, "It's more about treating everyone equally. There shouldn't be a different standard for celebrities in my opinion."
Despite the controversy, Twitter seems determined to push ahead with the move, as Musk recently announced that only verified accounts will be eligible to be in Twitter's 'For You' recommendations, which displays a stream of tweets from accounts on Twitter. Only verified Twitter accounts would also be eligible to vote in polls starting April 15. These moves further incentivize users to subscribe to Twitter Blue to retain their verified status.