Who would have thought that a software company charging its users could be such a controversial topic. But there’s a lot going on in the Twitter debate, and everyone is weighing in with their opinion. In October 2022, Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. Right after, he declared that the platform’s legacy approach to verification was a “lords and peasants system” that was “bull***t.” Now, he’s taken a stand and changed the playing field with the new $8-a-month Twitter Blue program that includes the once-coveted blue branding. But who plays ball and who refuses to take their seat?
Dillon Kivo is CEO of Authority Titans, founder of Kivo Daily, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Authority Playbook. He works with influential entrepreneurs and aspiring personal brands to build them an online presence that secures their reputation and creates opportunities. Having successfully achieved Twitter, Facebook and Instagram verification for its clients, Kivo has mixed feelings about what employers should do with Twitter’s new system.
I interviewed Kivo about why entrepreneurs should or shouldn’t pay to be verified on Twitter.
Here’s why entrepreneurs should pay for Twitter:
Access more features
“There’s no question that paying for Twitter Blue gives you access to more features,” Kivo said. “It’s a compelling proposition.” Not only do subscribers to the program receive a verified blue checkmark once reserved for notable people, but they can post longer tweets and longer videos. They have the opportunity to undo a tweet right before it’s sent and can edit some tweets in the first 30 minutes. There’s a new main articles section and two-factor authentication security options, as well as increased visibility.
“If you’re a Twitter user, these additions will improve your experience for sure,” Kivo said. Twitter users have been asking for the ability to edit tweets since the platform’s inception in 2006. Now you can edit them according to your content, but it will cost you. With Twitter Blue’s new revenue well established, users can expect these features to continue to expand. Musk himself said he likes to hear what users want, tweeting recently that negative feedback is “time to cut back [Twitter’s] ego-based mistakes.”
Get better engagement
In his tweet of the 25th April 2023, Musk confirmed a suspicion many had, that verified accounts are now prioritized. Exactly what this means is shrouded in mystery, but you can be pretty sure that your tweets will be displayed more prominently on your followers’ timelines, and maybe your replies will be distinguished in some way as well. Maybe retweeted and engaging content is given more weight, maybe you’re suggested when users search for who to follow.
“Paying $8 a month to be seen by more people in your target audience makes sense for most entrepreneurs,” Kivo said. “Especially if you’re already active on Twitter, it’s like buying a cheat code that gives you rocket fuel instead of gasoline.” So why wouldn’t you? Businesses pay for premium listings on directory sites all the time. Twitter Blue is transparent; you are not trying to trick anyone into not paying. Thanks to years of visibility, blue ticks on Twitter give a first impression of legitimacy, so capitalize on the brand to benefit your business and see it as a simple advertising cost.
Subscriptions are common
Although the media would have you believe there’s more to it than meets the eye, at first glance, Twitter’s verification program is simply a software company with 450 million monthly users, looking to grow by adding a subscription How else does a software company monetize? “Facebook makes money by running ads; sale of user data to advertisers. But how many people would rather pay and not see ads? Kivo asked. Twitter is testing this theory and finding the appetite.
“It’s totally normal to pay for Netflix,” Kivo said, “why not Twitter?” Software platforms are not free. Servers, data and customer support all cost money, which has to be recouped somewhere. Estimates put Twitter’s ad revenue at $3 billion, while Facebook’s is said to be ten times that. Under new management, most companies cut old services and add new ones. Musk clearly isn’t afraid to trial and error his way to Twitter’s success.
Access more features and get a better engagement by adding one more subscription to your list of several. This is why entrepreneurs should pay for Twitter Blue. But there is a flip side to this story that we are exploring in more detail.
Here are some reasons why employers shouldn’t pay for Twitter.
If you don’t focus on Twitter
Twitter is by no means the only social network. Once part of only a handful of platforms, creators are now seeing results duplicate across TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, and podcasts. Organic engagement on LinkedIn is high right now and podcast audience numbers are growing exponentially. There are plenty of other options for your time and energy. “If Twitter is not your primary social platform, it may not make sense to verify yourself,” Kivo said. Divert your efforts elsewhere and forget about Twitter entirely. “You can even edit your bio to tell your followers where you’re active.”
On a similar note, if you can’t justify the expense because you don’t see the return, then forget about Twitter all together. A social media manager used to be just one person; now that position doesn’t really exist. Completely different skills are required for each platform, and it’s the same with your business. If you’re not ready to be first on Twitter, you can’t reuse old content and expect it to fly. Go hard or go home.
You don’t like Elon Musk
If you don’t like Musk or disagree with his methods and principles, you may not want to pay to be verified on Twitter. “If you have to like and trust the CEO of any company you buy from, keep your money out of their pocket by not paying for Twitter Blue,” Kivo suggested. There are several people on that bandwagon, who believe that Musk’s charging for verification is an abuse of power or a blatant bid for cash flow. They talk about the potential for identity theft, new scams and misinformation that can occur as a result of anyone with a debit card having access to a blue mark.
“Does paying for Twitter Blue mean you endorse everything Musk stands for?” Kivo asks. If this is the meaning you have assigned, please think twice before updating your account. You have to be able to live with yourself. If your principles are strong and stubborn, and you’re prepared to compromise any potential business profit to keep them on your side, take your $8 a month elsewhere.
It will change again in the future
With all the changes that have already taken place since October 2022, there is a strong precedent for more. Twitter went back a bit on removing legacy ticks and reinstated them for some users who hadn’t subscribed. Who’s to say this won’t change again in the future? Perhaps Twitter Blue will mean blue ticks, Twitter Gold will mean golden ticks, and there will be another class for the “notable but not paying” class of user. Who knows. Taking your time could be the right strategy as the dust settles on every decision.
While you wait for Twitter to regain stability, run another promotion. Kivo recommends: “Get press in prominent news outlets, focus on your product and really stand out again.” A better deal means more customers, which means a bigger business. This can lead to the fame and fortune you might have previously associated with being verified on Twitter. “There are many other ways to build your brand online,” Kivo added.
Pay for Twitter if you want access to the additional benefits of doing so, if Twitter is a platform you’re very active on, or if you’re comfortable with a monthly fee for something you use and profit from. Don’t pay for Twitter if you don’t focus on Twitter, if your dislike of Elon Musk gets in the way, or if you want to see what happens before you get involved. No one will force your hand in any way, the choice is entirely yours.
When it comes to maximizing a business’s reach on social media, every entrepreneur must make a decision about whether subscribing to Twitter Blue is worth it. With Twitter’s powerful network of global engagement and its immense potential for organic visibility and discovery, the decision isn’t always straightforward. Let’s explore the pros and cons of paying for Twitter Blue and how Ikaroa can help entrepreneurs make an informed decision.
When it comes to Twitter Blue, there are a number of advantages that can be taken advantage of. Subscribers receive exclusive features such as scheduling pins, tweet threading, and folder organization. These features help to maximize the reach of tweets and lead to a more efficient workflow. Additionally, subscribers can benefit from Twitter’s Priority Support system, which allows for prompt replies to inquiries. Finally, entrepreneurs would have access to the Twitter Blue analytics dashboard, offering insights into performance metrics such as engagement and impressions.
However, with all of these features, there are also some potential downsides to consider. The subscription costs can quickly add up, eating into valuable financial resources that could be put towards product development, marketing, or a number of other areas. Additionally, while scheduling tweets is a valuable feature, there is no guarantee that tweets will catch the attention of the desired audience at the published time. It is also important to note that in order to take full advantage of the analytics dashboard, an additional subscription must be purchased.
The decision to subscribe to Twitter Blue is a personal one, as it depends largely on budget and the focus of the business. Regardless of the decision, Ikaroa has the experienced team of developers and strategists to help maximize presence and engagement on Twitter. Our technical and marketing teams create results-driven campaigns and develop strategies to drive organic reach and performance. No matter how complex the project may be, Ikaroa is here to help.