Twitter’s highly anticipated Blue service has launched in the US and New Zealand, the microblogging giant announced on Tuesday. Twitter’s Blue subscription service has been in the news for months, has been in testing in Australia and Canada since the middle of this year. Today, the service became available for Twitter users in the US for the very first time.
According to the company, Twitter Blue is available to users across various platforms such as iOS, Android and via the web and will cost $2.99 a month. According to what a Spokesperson from Twitter said, the Twitter Blue service will give subscribers the ability to undo their tweets and even customize the Twitter app icon. For subscribers in the US, they’d be getting access to ad-free articles from over 300 US-based news sites. These news sites will include big names such as Rolling Stone, Insider, The Atlantic and The Washington Post, and doesn’t include access to articles that require a subscription before they can be read.
Twitter Blue is part of the company’s attempt at diversifying its income. The company first announced diversification plans earlier this year. It is the company’s goal to reach 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023 and double its annual revenue to $7.5 billion by the end of 2023. The company mentioned that part of its users’ subscription will be used to pay participating news sites but will be completely based on what these subscribers read. Twitter Blue subscribers will also be able to know how much of their subscription goes to these news sites through a transparency feature that’s available to them.
In a briefing held on Monday, Twitter’s Senior Director of Product, Tony Haile, said that “our goal is that each site makes 50% more per person than they would make serving ads to that person. At Twitter, we recognize that a great public conversation requires a thriving journalism ecosystem, so with Blue, we’re not just trying to enable a better internet for subscribers but a better internet for journalism, too”.
Apart from the aforementioned features, Twitter also launched new features for Twitter Blue subscribers as the service was launched in the US and New Zealand. The new features include the ability to upload videos that are up to ten minutes long, more than twice the microblogging platform’s video length limit of two minutes and twenty seconds. The second feature is that Blue subscribers will have the ability to pin their most important chats at the top of their inboxes, a feature that is available on the instant messaging app WhatsApp. “What we really are trying to achieve here with the subscription is a set of features that we think resonate with the power users who want more control, want more customization over Twitter”, Sara Beykpour, the company’s Senior Director of Product said.
Twitter’s Blue service promises to have lots of prospects but up till now, the company has refused to share the total number of subscribers it’s had since it launched the service in Australia and Canada in June this year.