Elon Musk's master plan to make billions of dollars selling cringeworthy "Twitter Blue" checkmark subscriptions has backfired. According to Natasha Lomas' brutal Twitter takedown in TechCrunch, Twitter Blue has generated barely $11 million in subscription revenue since it started three months ago. This figure amounts to only one percent of the annual interest on the debt Musk incurred from the suckers who backed his acquisition of Twitter, a purchase made at over double the platform's current value.
Subscribers who opt for the paid checkmarks have faced ridicule and mockery, leading Musk to direct his engineers to create a feature allowing Twitter Blue users to conceal their checkmarks. In light of these developments, major publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Buzzfeed have chosen not to invest $8 a month in Twitter Blue subscriptions.
According to Twitter, tweets from unpaid Twitter accounts will show up below paid accounts, if at all. If reputable news sites like the NY Times refuse to participate Twitter Blue, then Musk's beloved Nazis, trolls, anti-vaxxers, and QAoners will reign supreme on the platform.
From Lomas' TechCrunch piece:
Since Musk took over he has set about dismantling everything that made Twitter valuable — making it his mission to drive out expertise, scare away celebrities, bully reporters and — on the flip side — reward the bad actors, spammers and sycophants who thrive in the opposite environment: An information vacuum.
It almost doesn't matter if this is deliberate sabotage by Musk or the blundering stupidity of a clueless idiot. The upshot is the same: Twitter is dying.
The value that Twitter's platform produced, by combining valuable streams of qualification and curiosity, is being beaten and wrung out. What's left has — for months now — felt like an echo-y shell of its former self. And it's clear that with every freshly destructive decision — whether it's unbanning the nazis and letting the toxicity rip, turning verification into a pay-to-play megaphone or literally banning journalists — Musk has applied his vast wealth to destroying as much of the information network's value as possible in as short a time as possible; each decision triggering another exodus of expertise as more long-time users give up and depart.