Billionaire Elon Musk may be making Twitter pay-to-play.
It’s a nightmare scenario for many users and prompted much of the concern around his initial features. Sources close to the situation told Reuters that Musk plans to slash board pay and find new ways to monetize tweets.
Elon Musk May Ask Twitter Users To Pay To Use Certain Features
Last Monday, the world learned about the agreement between the Tesla CEO and the Twitter board of directors in order to buy the social media company for $44 billion dollars after he had offered the Twitter board chair an offer of $54.20 per share in text messages that were made public through a securities filing a week before the purchase was finalized.
In order to convince banks that he had enough cash flow to buy the social media company, he had to convince them that he had enough money to make the purchase, which partially involved selling off billions of shares of Tesla stock. Although Musk told banks that he would cut executive salaries and find new ways to monetize Twitter, it remains to be seen how many of his ideas he will actually implement.
One source told Bloomberg News that Musk is planning job cuts, but Musk does not have the authority to make good on his word until he assumes ownership of the company later this year.
Another one of Musk’s ideas to make money on Twitter is to develop revenue through tweets themselves. He mentioned charging a fee when a third-party website wants to quote or embed a tweet from verified individuals or organizations.
In a tweet that he posted, and then quickly deleted, earlier this month, Musk also suggested a change to the Twitter Blue premium subscription service, which included banning advertising and the option to pay using the cryptocurrency called Dogecoin. At this time, Twitter Blue costs $2.99 USD a month. There was also talk of Musk charging for users to obtain a coveted blue checkmark.
In another deleted tweet, Musk indicated that he was looking to reduce Twitter’s dependence on advertising to bring in revenue. It seems that he is looking to generate more income from the Twitter base itself in order to cut down on outside advertising; however, at this time, it’s unclear how many people would be paying to use the service.
Although it’s not clear how many users were bots and how many were active Twitter users, accounts started disappearing by the thousands shortly after Musk announced that he had bought the social media company last Monday.
Mark Hamill Asks ‘Was It Something I Said?’ As Followers Disappear
Weird. I just lost more than 8,000 followers in the last couple of hours. Was it something I said? https://t.co/TS3vwDephc
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) April 25, 2022
“Star Wars” Mark Hamill was among the first to notice that he had lost a whopping 8,000 followers since Musk announced his takeover big. He tweeted, “Weird. I just lost more than 8,000 followers in the last couple of hours. Was it something I said?”
His post was in response to Neera Tanden, who tweeted, “Just lost 2000 followers. Anyone else losing followers?”
Happening to a lot of people. One theories is that it is from people deleting their accounts. https://t.co/Ipu5iGbNLH
— Darlene Cypser (@DarleneCypser) April 25, 2022
“Happening to a lot of people. One theories is that it is from people deleting their accounts,” one fan wrote. They attached a tweet from Kevin M. Kruse, who had tweeted, “Likewise, I’ve lost about 1500 today. The count ebbs and flows all the time, but if this is real, I’d assume like Chuck that it’s people deleting their accounts.”
I’ve lost about 1000 and I believe it’s people deleting accounts. That’s anecdotal though. https://t.co/gKrnjPg3sq
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) April 25, 2022
“Star Wars” author Chuck Wendig tweeted, “I’ve lost about 1000 and I believe it’s people deleting accounts. That’s anecdotal though.”
He retweeted it from author Shannon Watts, who had tweeted, “I’ve lost over 300 followers so far today… Is Twitter finally cleaning up trolls?”
It remains to be seen if these are bot accounts that are being deleted or if people are mass-deleting in protest of Musk’s takeover.