Twitter: “$20 for a Blue Check is so stupid!” Users say, as they take out their wallet

Twitter's blue check will soon cost $20 a month — and some are outraged! Will they quit Twitter, or relinquish their blue check status? Probably not.

Justin Nugent

This article was last updated on 11/01/2022.

blue check

Elon Musk, the “Chief Twit” and new ruler of Twitter, has some lofty aspirations. Musk has said he wants to quadruple Twitter’s user base, and quintuple Twitter’s revenue — which was just $5 billion last year — to $26.8 billion by 2028.

More impressively (or daftly, depending on where you stand on this highly divisive figure), Musk has said he wants to do that (mostly) without the help of ads. Twitter ads are currently 90% of the social media company’s revenue. Under Musk: A cool 45%. 

Here’s how the rest of Twitter’s revenue breaks down under Musk

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Source: Market Rebellion

Of course, this is a very loose graph, because it doesn’t include yet another of Musk’s goals: 

Plans of adding a payment processing feature to Twitter

Musk hopes to add the feature by 2023, believing it could garner a humble $15 million in revenue in its first year. 

However, by 2028, Musk expects the payment processing business to be another lucrative avenue for Twitter, projecting $1.3 billion in revenue 6 six years from now. Musk isn’t a novice to the business of payment processing — the Tesla CEO was one of the original founders of Paypal. 

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How would this payment processing feature integrate with Twitter? 

Musk has opined that Twitter could be morphed into a “super app.” What does that look like? Think less Meta (which also has a payment processing feature), more WeChat. Musk has talked openly about the possibility that in the future, Twitter could resemble the app WeChat, an all-in-one instant messaging, social media, payment processing app that is ubiquitous in China, clocking in 1.3 billion total users. 

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So Musk wants more users. A new stream of revenue via payment processing. More total revenue, and more revenue per user. Less reliance on ads. 

How’s he going to do it? With another controversial change:

$20 Per Month Twitter Blue Check Verification

In case you haven’t been on Twitter, you should know that a portion of the ritzy “blue check accounts” already aren’t in love with Elon Musk. Since his Twitter takeover in April, a small swath of celebrities have pledged to leave the platform, like Shaun King, Jameela Jamil, Mick Foley and more have all pledged to delete their Twitter accounts and leave the platform in protest of Musk. 

(All three have ultimately chosen to remain on the platform.) 

Some of this hatred almost certainly had to do with Musk’s path to “free speech absolutism,” which likely includes the reinstatement of Donald Trump’s Twitter account. However, recently the hatred for Musk has taken a new route:

Our bet: No one likes to add $20 a month to their subscriptions. But this is likely the most powerful and realistic way for Musk to achieve his lofty revenue aspirations on an app that is already used by roughly 23% of American adults. While some may choose to abandon their blue check or leave the platform altogether, it’s worth noting that this is largely a subscription for rich people.

Moreover, for rich people who use Twitter’s platform to further their reach, to advertise new projects and ideas, and to drive monetary value to their own ventures. On top of that, with the mass of bot accounts (something that Elon has publicly complained about and seeks to remedy), “click on this link”-style scams, and impersonations, the blue check is likely something some see as a necessity for fighting misinformation and maintaining public image.

The bottom line: At the end of the day, the $20 is probably worth it for most people who already have it. Unless people decide to leave en masse, Musk’s latest changes help to defog the road that he plans to take to reach 5X revenue by 2028.

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