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Twitter’s Coming ‘Twitter Blue’ Subscription Offering Is Slowly Taking Shape

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While Twitter recently re-opened public applications for profile verification, most users likely won’t meet the updated criteria, and won’t be able to get that coveted blue tick by their username. But there may soon be another way to highlight your Twitter superiority, albeit via paid means.

Earlier this month, reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong discovered that Twitter is working on a new subscription service, currently called ‘Twitter Blue’, which would provide users with a range of add-on tweet features, for a monthly fee.

Twitter Blue

Now, Wong has uncovered more details of the platform’s coming subscription offering, including further insight into the Twitter Blue feature listing, as it stands, and how users will sign-up for the option.

Twitter Blue

As you can see here, Twitter Blue, which is currently listed at $US2.99 per month, would give subscribers access to several add-on features to enhance their on-platform experience.

Those features, as they currently stand, are:

  • Undo tweets – We’ve reported on this previously, but as it sounds, undo tweets would enable users to retract their sent tweets within 5-10 seconds of posting, which could help in catching those small grammatical errors and mistakes that can be a major annoyance in the tweet process. It’s not tweet editing, but it’s likely as close as you’ll ever get.
  • Collections for Bookmarks – This feature would enable users to categorize their saved tweets into assigned topic folders, providing more ways to manage your favorite content in the app. That could especially come in handy for eCommerce listings, which Twitter is currently also developing.
  • Reader Mode – This appears to still be in development, but reader mode will enable users to ‘turn tweet threads into easy to read text’, likely by merging them into a single, notepad-like screen. There are no examples of this available yet.
  • Color theme – One of the newly added elements, color theme, would enable users to select from a range of color options for their tweet display (image below). As some users have noted, you can actually already do this on desktop, but when you do update your color settings currently, those changes are only visible to you. It’s possible that this could change your color settings for profile visitors as well.
  • App icon – Twitter Blue subscribers would also get a new selection of custom app icons that they can use on their device.
Twitter Blue

So that’s the Twitter Blue offering, based on what we know right now – undo tweets, bookmark collections, new thread reading options and new color settings, which may or may not be visible to others in the app. 

Would that be worth $US2.99 per month to you?

No doubt many people won’t be looking to pay, but that doesn’t really matter, because Twitter only needs a small percentage of its users to sign on, in order to make it worth developing.

Twitter currently has 199 million daily active users, which means that even if only 1% of them sign-up, that would still equate to around $6 million per month (+$18m per quarter) in direct revenue for the company. And some people will indeed sign up – and if Twitter can further sweeten the Twitter Blue offering over time, that will bring more people in, which could quickly make it a hugely profitable addition, and a massive earner for the company, which is aiming to significantly boost its revenue run rate over the next few years.

And while additions like different colors may not mean a lot to you, these types of customization features do mean a lot for some people.

Online multiplayer game Fortnite is a great example of this – Fortnite enables users to play the game for free, but you can sign-up and pay for add-on features, like season passes that provide new costumes for your characters and custom weapons, emotes, dances, etc. In 2019, Fortnite brought in $1.8 billion in revenue, with a significant amount of that coming from in-game cosmetics – i.e. character ‘skins’ which provide custom outfits for your avatar.

Note, again, that Fortnite is actually free to play, so it makes its money entirely through these add-on features – in fact, Fortnite’s parent company Epic recently reported that it made $50 million from one set of custom NFL character skins alone.

People will pay for in-app cosmetic enhancements, so while some people are raising their eyebrows at the suggestion that Twitter will look to charge for such minor additions, in a relative sense, the bottom line is that some people will happily pay.

And if you’re not interested, you can keep using Twitter as you always have.

Which is also a key point – as reported by TechCrunch, this week, at the recent JP Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications conference, Twitter CFO Ned Segal provided some extra insight into the company’s evolving tweet subscription plans, without specifically noting the Twitter Blue project by name.

As per TechCrunch:

“[Segal] told investors that its new “premium service” would be aimed at people who use Twitter’s service – “and they pay us for it.” Segal noted this premium offering was one of the two types of subscriptions that Twitter had in the works, the other being Super Follows.”

TechCrunch further noted that Segal also reiterated that it will be looking to provide these premium features:

“…on top of [Twitter’s] continuous improvement mindset around the free version of the service that everybody will continue to have access to.”

Twitter needs its free version for scale, and maximizing its ubiquity, but by providing optional add-on tools, that could give the company a simple, effective, and engaging revenue stream, which will keep those who do pay tweeting more often – because if you’re going to pay, you’re likely also going to be looking to get your money’s worth, right?

Really, it seems like a clever addition for Twitter, catering to more use cases and interests, and potentially, as noted, giving people a way to enhance their appearance within the app by paying a few dollars for some add-on tools.

And Twitter’s likely not done yet – as Wong noted in her original discovery, Twitter may well be looking to add alternative subscription tiers, which would give users access to even more features, like an integration with its recently acquired Scroll service that would enable users to read paywalled articles from a range of websites. 

It may also look to add more analytics tools and posting features, for more serious Twitter users, and if those tools can provide significant value, and only cost a few bucks more each month, you can bet that people will also be signing up to get them as well.

Yes, the Twitterverse will make noise about this, and predictably bemoan the glaring absence of an edit button. But honestly, it’s a smart play, and makes a heap of sense for Twitter, from various perspectives.

We’ve asked Twitter for further information about the project, and will keep you updated as news comes to hand.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer: Born or made great?

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The Big 3 have won a total of 56 Grand Slams in their career.

Ecogastronomy, puppet arts, viticulture and enology, influencer marketing, or bakery science. In 2022, you can become anything you want and there are even specialized undergraduate degrees to help you gain all the relevant skills at university. Essentially, you can now be academically trained in any subject and learn practically everything you need to excel at your job.

In the context of sports, and particularly tennis, this is no different. There are plenty of degrees you can pursue to complement your career as an athlete, physiotherapist, or coach with useful knowledge about the human body, anatomy, and health.

This basically means that professional tennis players of the 21st century can complement their extraordinary talent and training routine with a relevant education and an elite team of professional and eminent physiotherapists, coaches, PR, and strategists. Ultimately, players have countless tools that can help them win matches, stay healthy, and be well-liked by the press and the fans.

You can find these ‘A teams’ all around the tour nowadays: players of the former next gen have taken advantage of their early success to incorporate experts on every specialty into their team and others like Carlos Alcaraz or Holger Rune have come directly in the tour alongside first-class teams headed by former World No. 1 and Slam champion Juan Carlos Ferrero and respected coach Patrick Mouratoglou respectively.

Understandably, tennis legends who have been on tour for almost two decades have progressively adapted to the quest for perfection too. You must remember Novak Djokovic’s radical diet change mid-career or Rafael Nadal’s loyal sports doctor for most of his injury-prone career.

21st-century professional tennis players have learned it all as far as tennis skills are concerned. In fact, objectively any top-100 player can produce Djokovesque cross-court backhands or Nadalese down-the-line forehands any time – we have seen rallies of the highest level in practices, Challengers and junior tournaments.

So, one must think that if every player on the tour can produce top-level tennis and is surrounded by the perfect team, what is stopping them from winning 20+ Grand Slam titles like Nadal, Roger Federer, and Djokovic?


Nadal, Federer and Djokovic — the Big 3

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in discussion at the 2022 Laver Cup.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in discussion at the 2022 Laver Cup.

The Big 3 — Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic — are living proof that in life there are things you just can’t learn, despite our self-help books saying otherwise. Tennis is different from other mainstream sports in that it remains an individual and extremely mental sport.

These three players belong at a higher level than anyone else, and it is not only the 63 combined Slam titles that separate them from their opponents. It is clearly not their physical form either, quite the opposite currently. It is the ability to remain serene, focused, confident, and indifferent to the crowd, pressure, and expectations, to play one point at a time, whether it is a break or a championship point, and to extract it from the surrounding context.

Being the best of all time does, however, not imply being the better player in all matches. We don’t have to go far back to find an example of a time when Nadal and Djokovic were the clear underdogs in a match. For instance, in Wimbledon 2022 we saw Nadal win a match with an abdominal tear and an average 80-mph serve speed (on a grasscourt!) against Taylor Fritz, a top American player in his best-ever season.

In essence, the three GOATs have had the ability to know how to win even when they are the worst players on the court, and if that greatness is something we all could learn or train for, it would stop being called so and we would see it more often.

Whether it is the experience, intelligence or just intrinsic and unique talent that has led to Big 3’s unprecedented achievements we won’t ever exactly know and, I am afraid, they are giving no opportunity to the so-called Next Gen to even dream of replicating their record book and help us make sense of what it takes to become a tennis master.

In any case, we can only feel extremely fortunate to have lived on the same timeline as the greatest trivalry in sports history. All of us, but the Next Gen, can only hope Nadal and Djokovic do not follow Federer’s retirement path anytime soon. And one only needs to watch their last matches against each other to (rightfully) assume that might not happen anytime soon.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

Poll : Who will end up with most Grand Slam titles?

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta’s Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels are both making
headway in the intensely competitive video shorts sector.  

During Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai reported that YouTube Shorts has surpassed 50 billion
daily views. That’s up from the 30 billion reported in Q1 2022.

However, it still …



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