Elon Musk sure fixed Twitter! Sharing some reporting from Mashable on how the whole blue checkmark fiasco has gone down subscriber-wise, and subscribers have gone down, TechDirt pretty much eviscerates the idea that Musk has any chance left to spin-doctor this into a win. There is no 5-Dimensional chess grand mastership here.
Mashable pointed out that the folks who pre-signed up for Musk’s blue checkmark of loyalty bailed on the subscription service in droves when he eliminated the mark’s utility as a verification tool.
The total early subscriber numbers are linked directly to internal leaks published(opens in a new tab) by the Washington Post last year showing that a total of 150,000 users originally signed up for Twitter Blue within just a few days of its launch in November. Twitter temporarily disabled new signups for about a month shortly after those users subscribed as a result of accounts signing up for Blue with the intent to impersonate major brands on the platform.
That means around 81,843 users, or 54.5 percent, of Twitter users who subscribed to Twitter Blue when it first launched in November are no longer subscribed to the service.
That’s an abnormally high churn rate for an online subscription service. Churn rate is the percentage of users that unsubscribe from a service.
Techdirt reminds us that this was Musk’s monetization bet. This is what the investors and all that debt are hanging on because the advertising revenue sure has melted away. Even before he bought the company advertisers were taking off, once he added his personal brand and flourish to everything on Twitter they just fled. Eliminating what little “trust and safety” was left has finished it, the movie is just going to take a long time to end.
He basically made this is his big monetization bet… and it’s flopped. Embarrassingly so. Advertisers running away took away multiple billions of dollars in revenue, while Twitter Blue subscriptions have added… a few million dollars to the bottom line? Back in November, it became clear that a very small percentage of people were interested in paying. A followup in February found the numbers of paying subscribers was pitifully small. Musk’s plan to charge organizations a much higher fee to verify the organizations seems to have fallen flat as well.
Where is the revenue coming from to finance the debt?