Elon Musk is continuing his crusade to milk money from Twitter. A new scheme involves peddling another tier of the Twitter Blue subscription, which would offer an ad-free experience. The platform has seen an exodus of high-profile advertisers ever since Musk took over, and staring at an unpredictable market ahead, the desperation for funding has grown.
Following layoffs that gutted Twitter’s workforce, the company is also vacating offices around the world, cutting employee perks, and auctioning office supplies online. According to Bloomberg, Musk is expected to pay back the first batch of his loan worth $300 million to the banks, which financed his $44 billion Twitter acquisition last year.
On paper, the banking consortium led by Morgan Stanley has already lost around $4 billion. With profitability far away and ad money disappearing, Musk has hedged his hopes of turning around Twitter’s financial fortunes with the Twitter Blue subscription that currently costs $8 per month, with a pricier version now on the horizon.
There is no dearth of users complaining that their Twitter feed looks cluttered these days, with no solution or a promised fix in sight. Moreover, Musk has also banned third-party Twitter clients, a controversial move which has already irked the folks that used the platform for business. Asking them to pay more for Twitter Blue already sounds like rubbing salt on wounds.
The desperation grows
Earlier this week, Musk posted on Twitter that “ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big,” adding that both these issues will be resolved soon. Expanding his idea into a thread, Musk later added that “a higher priced subscription that allows zero ads” is also in the pipeline.
Also, there will be a higher priced subscription that allows zero ads
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2023
At the moment, a Twitter Blue subscription cuts the number of ads you see in half. There is no word when this promised ad-free tier of Twitter Blue rolls out, but it doesn’t sound like a particularly appealing prospect from a user perspective. To start, Twitter Blue already seems like an expensive purchase. An even more expensive tier that merely removes the ads doesn’t really appear to hold much value, if the only benefit it offers is block all ads.
Musk had reportedly planned to charge as much as $20 per month for Twitter Blue initially, but sanity prevailed and he eventually settled on the current $8 monthly fee. The long-term outlook appears to be that Twitter is facing financial challenges right now, but Musk’s hardcore demands aren’t going down east. On the business side of things, Musk seemingly views Twitter as a cash-grab that will help him pay off over $13 billion in debt to banks, but at the expense of a degrading user experience, unless users pay up.