after a false start, Elon Musk tries a new paid subscription

The company gradually revealed its outlines on Monday as the day progressed, explaining on its website that the subscription would initially be available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US. UK compared to $8 per month, or $11. for owners of Apple devices. But around 18:00 GMT it didn’t seem possible to subscribe to it yet.

Main interest for people who agree to pay money: a tick to confirm the identity of the subscriber, blue for individuals, gold for companies, gray for institutions. To be granted this approval, users must have had an account for at least 90 days associated with a verified phone number that does not appear “misleading or fraudulent”.

They must also have been active at least once in the previous month and not have changed their profile picture or name on Twitter during the previous week. Users who already have a tick can a priori keep it without paying, according to the details of the terms of use published by Twitter.

The first attempt to launch a new subscription formula in early November was accompanied by an outbreak of accounts pretending to be celebrities or big companies and conflicting messages. The project was then suspended and then postponed several times.

Dark strategy

This initiative should allow Twitter to diversify its revenue beyond ads. Revenue from the latter has actually fallen in recent months with the economic slowdown, while many advertisers have been scalded by Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform for fear of finding their ads containing controversial content.

The new boss, who presents himself as a defender of free speech and regularly claims that Twitter had previously shown a bias in favor of left-wing ideas, has actually reduced the staff responsible for moderation and approved the return to the platform of suspended personalities such as Donald Trump.

He himself released a series of controversial messages over the weekend, taking turns attacking outgoing White House pandemic adviser Anthony Fauci, former Twitter security officer Yoel Roth or even non-gendered pronouns.

The multi-billionaire is also trying to attract attention by promoting for ten days what he calls “Twitter files”, internal documents purporting to illustrate questionable moderation practices.

“I don’t understand what he’s trying to do” with these sweeping statements, Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies responded. Perhaps it is a tactic to attract more people and thus sell more subscriptions, she suggests.

But his strategy remains unclear, says the specialist. Elon Musk “wants to be seen as the one saving democracy, but can he really do it with anti-vaccines” or conspirators? she wonders.

Invited to a stage show in San Francisco by comedian Dave Chappelle on Sunday, the world’s richest man was met with a mixture of applause and hearty boos. So much arguing “is a first for me in real life (it’s frequent on Twitter)”later noted Elon Musk in a tweet.

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