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There Will be Ways to Generate More Revenue from Twitter, But $8 Verification Isn’t It


There Will be Ways to Generate More Revenue from Twitter, But $8 Verification Isn’t It

Will you be paying $8 per month to get a blue verification badge?

Elon Musk’s push to rapidly monetize Twitter, and get the business on track, in order to recoup his massive costs and investor commitments, has already led to some interesting proposals, none of which has been set in stone as yet. But Musk has clearly set his sights on charging users $8 per month for the prestigious verified marker, in order to solve what Elon sees as a class issue within the app.

But that’s not really the issue, or an issue at all, because for one, the blue checkmark isn’t always allocated to celebrities, because Twitter has altered the qualifying parameters for verification at various times. That means that you’ll often come across randoms with a tick, so it’s not really a definitive stamp of importance anyway.

But also, if the concept is that the blue checkmark is a signifier of importance – of ‘lords’ of Twitter, as Musk says – that’ll be completely eliminated by making it available to everyone, either way, because once anyone can get one, it means nothing anymore, right? If the true value of the checkmark, under this interpretation, is to signify perceived importance, then as soon as anybody can buy one, that value immediately evaporates.


This is most confusing aspect of Musk’s pitch – Elon seems to have assessed that this is something that people want, based on the amount of users asking for verification, which then makes it valuable, and something that Twitter can sell for a quick buck.

But by selling to anyone, that then devalues it completely, and I’m not sure how that’s going to make it an ongoing value proposition.

To be fair, Musk has also outlined other value-add elements in paying up, including:

  • Priority in replies, mentions and search
  • Ability to post long video and audio
  • Half as many ads
  • Paywall bypass for selected publishers

So it’s not just the blue tick of approval, there could also be particular value in getting your replies seen more prominently in the app.

But then again, the more people that sign up, the less that ‘priority’ means. For example, if you were signing up in order to, say, ensure that your messages get seen when you reply to a viral tweet, by having them listed higher in the reply chain, if thousands of other people who’ve also signed up for verification have that same idea, that’ll only see your tweet listed among the many, many others vying for attention.

Another factor to consider here is that the majority of users actually don’t tweet, so this would be of no value to them anyway.

According to research, 25% of Twitter users produce around 97% of all tweets.

So priority display of tweets is probably not a major selling point for most people either way.

And then there’s the confusion caused by re-aligning what the verification tick actually means.

For example, what happens to celebrities that don’t sign up to pay $8 per month, and lose their blue checkmark as a result? Elon has noted that there will be an additional marker for public figures, in addition to the blue tick. But will that be enough?

To clarify, the original concept of the verification tick on Twitter came about due to a case of celebrity impersonation, which saw an MLB player take Twitter to court after somebody registered his name in the app and began posting offensive comments. In the wash-up from this incident (and various other cases of impersonation of celebrities), Twitter then launched its verification program to tackle the problem – so Twitter created the verified tick to indicate that this was the real, actual person that you’re thinking of, not, it’s important to note, as a marker of status.

But let’s say that The Rock now declines to pay the $8, for the sake of argument. Now, any scammer can create an account pretending to be The Rock, then pay to get the blue tick, which they could then use to dupe people into thinking this is the real Dwayne Johnson that’s looking to pitch them on some new crypto investment.

And really, even if The Rock did pay, they could still do this. With no official marker of actual authentication in the app, there’ll be fewer ways for people to verify that this is or isn’t a legitimate profile – and while most western users might be relatively savvy to scams like this, people in developing markets could be particularly susceptible to such scams.

Related: Elon’s also looking to beam Twitter into more regions where it’s currently not available via Starlink internet access.

Scammers will already be planning their attacks on this front, using the confusion around what the blue tick means to take what they can. Which, again, will further devalue the blue tick, and I’m guessing that, within a few months, few people will see much point in continuing to pay for the marker, as it will have lost all perceived value due to this type of misuse.

Yet at the same time, I do think that there could be value in charging for tweet subscriptions. But class warfare is not it.

According to a study conducted by Twingate in 2020, many social media users would indeed consider paying a certain amount to use social media apps, if there were a significant value add in doing so – like, say, removing all ads or eliminating data tracking (for ads).

Twingate’s research shows that some users would be willing to pay around $4 to use Twitter without ads or tracking, and that seems like it could be a better pitch for this than Elon’s current strategy.

Though that may not match up with Elon’s other plan, in eliminating bots through verification.

Based on what Musk has outlined, he seems to be of the impression that he’ll eventually be able to get most Twitter users to pay for verification, and if that happens, that will effectively eliminate Twitter’s problems with bot armies, because the providers and programs behind such will then have to pay $8 per account to continue their efforts.

Because the only people not verified will be bots, which will make them really easy to spot – and as such, the price has to be $8, or as much as people will viably spend, in order to act as a significant enough disincentive for bot operators.

But while Musk seems to think that $8 is nothing – which it is when you’re worth $223 billion – it’s actually probably quite a lot for most Twitter users, especially considering the average income data for the app’s user base.

social media audience demographics

As you can see in this listing from Pew Research, 63% of Twitter users earn less than $75k per annum, and to those people, I’m guessing $96 a year is a significant amount, especially for something that they don’t need in order to keep using the app, and which further declines in value with every person that signs up.

And this data is only for the US – the vast majority of Twitter’s audience (almost 80%) are from regions outside the US, with many in developing markets, where $96 is a huge amount.

Elon has also noted that there will be variable pricing by region. But even then, will people really want to pay for something that adds not a lot to their in-app experience?

In the end, I don’t see this being a major winner for the app, but there may be another way to pitch subscriptions that does offer value to the Twitter experience.

But this isn’t it, and really, it feels exactly like what it is – a rushed project that hasn’t been thought through, which might see a sudden surge early on, but will fall apart very quickly, and cause more problems than it’s worth.

And that’ll only be exacerbated by job cuts at the app.

Make no mistake, Twitter is able to generate more revenue, and there are ways that it could be reformed and re-shaped in Elon’s vision.

But we could be in for a fair bit of trial and error before we get to anything concrete.

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Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023


Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023

Will 2023 be the year of personalization? Consumers hope so. For the past two years, shoppers have been craving the personal touch: In 2021, McKinsey & Company noted that 71% of customers expected companies to deliver personalization. In 2022, a Salesforce survey found that 73% of people expected brands to understand their needs and expectations. So, this year is looking like one where personalization can no longer be seen as a “nice to have.”

The problem, of course, is how to get more personalized. Many companies have already started to dabble in this. They greet shoppers by name on landing pages. They rely on CRMs and other tools to use historical information to send shoppers customized recommendations. They offer personalized, real-time discounts to help buyers convert their abandoned shopping cart items to actual purchases.

These are all great ideas. The only problem is that they’ve become widespread. They don’t move the needle on the customer experience anymore. Instead, they’re standard, expected, and kind of forgettable. That doesn’t mean you can afford to stop doing them. It just means you must devise other ways to pepper personalization throughout your consumer interactions.

If you are scratching your head on how to outdo 2022’s personalization in 2023, try implementing the following strategies:

1. Go for full-blown engagement on social media.

One easy way to give the personal touch is through your social media business pages. Social media use just keeps growing. In 2022, there were about 266 million monthly active users (or MUAs) on Facebook, one billion on Instagram, and 755 million on TikTok. Not all these active users will fall into your target audiences, but plenty of them will.

Make engaging with your social followers one of this year’s goals. People spend a lot of time on social media. It’s where many of them “live,” so it only makes sense that it should be a place to drive personalization.

One quick way to ratchet up your company’s personal touch on social media is to personalize all your retargeted ads. Quizzes can also offer a chance for personalization. Simply set up an engaging quiz and allow people to share their results. It’s a fun way to build brand recognition and bond with consumers. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going very personal and answering all comments. Depending on your team’s size and the number of comments you receive, this might be a viable option.

2. Leverage AI to go beyond basic demographics.

Most companies rely on customer demographic information to bolster personalization efforts. The only trouble with this tactic is that demographics can’t tell the whole story. It’s impossible to get a lot of context about individual users (such as their lifestyles, personal preferences, and motivators) just from knowing their age, gender, or location. Though demographic data is beneficial, it can cause some significant misses.

Michael Scharff, CEO and cofounder of Evolv AI, explains the workaround for this problem: “The most natural, and therefore productive, personalization efforts use demographics as a foundation and then layer in user likes, dislikes, behaviors, and values.”

You can leverage AI’s predictive and insightful capabilities to uncover real-time user insights. Scharff recommends this technique because it allows you to stay in sync with the fast-moving pace of consumer behavior changes. He adds that AI can be particularly beneficial with the coming limits to third-party cookie access because it can be a first-party data source, allowing you to maintain customer knowledge and connection.

To flesh out your organization’s strategy, look to other companies that have gone beyond demographics. Take Netflix, for example, which constantly tweaks its AI algorithm to help improve personalized content recommendations. Bottom line? Going deeper than surface information makes all the sense in the world if you want to show customers you know them well.

3. Keep your data spotless.

The better your data, the better your personalization efforts. Period. Unfortunately, you are probably sitting on a lot of unstructured or otherwise tricky-to-use (or impossible-to-use) data. One recent Great Expectations survey revealed that 77% of data practitioners have data quality problems, and 91% say that this is wreaking havoc on their companies’ performance.

You can’t personalize anything with corrupt or questionable data. So, do your best to find ways to clean your data promptly and routinely. For example, you might want to invest in a more centralized data system, particularly if the personalization data you rely on is scattered in various places. Having one repository of data truth makes it easier to know if the information on hand is ready to use.

Another way to tame your data is to automate as many data processes as possible. Reducing manual manipulation of data lessens the chance of human error. And you’ll feel more confident with all your personalization efforts if you can trust the reliability and health of your data.

4. Go for nontechnical personalization.

It’s the digital age, but that doesn’t mean every touchpoint has to be digitized. Consumers often react with delight and positivity when they receive personalization in decidedly nontech forms. (Yes, you can use tech to keep track of everything. Just don’t make it part of the actual personalized exchange!)

Consider writing handwritten thank-you notes to customers after they’ve called in for support or emailed your team, for instance. Or send an extra personalized gift to buyers who make a specific number of purchases. These interactions aren’t technical but can differentiate your customer experience from your competitors’ experiences.

A groundbreaking Deloitte snapshot taken right before the pandemic showed that people were hungry for connection. By folding nondigital experiences into your personalization with customers, you’re showing them that you see them first as valued humans. That’s compelling and appealing, making them more apt to give you their loyalty in return.

Putting a personal spin on all your consumer interactions takes a little time. It’s worth your energy, though. You’ll wind up with stronger brand-buyer connections, helping you edge ahead of your competitors even more.

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Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023


Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023

January is, for many, a month of reflection, goal-setting, strategizing and planning for the year ahead. 

In line with this, we’ve kicked off the new year with a series of articles covering the latest stats, tips and strategies to help social media marketers build an effective game plan for 2023.

Below, you’ll find links to our 2023 social media planning series, which includes:

  • Content strategy guidelines to help you define your brand’s content mission and set SMART goals
  • Organic posting tips for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest 
  • Explainers on how to research key topics of interest in your niche, understand the competitive landscape, and help you find your audience and connect with them where they’re active
  • A holiday calendar and notes on the best days and times to post to each of the major platforms


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Meta says Trump to be allowed back on Facebook, Instagram


Meta wants the UK to keep some EU e-commerce rules instead of scrapping them in its planned bonfire of Brussels legislation



Social networking giant Meta announced Tuesday it would soon reinstate former president Donald Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram with “new guardrails,” two years after he was banned over the 2021 US Capitol insurrection.

“We will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said in a statement, adding that the move would come with “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Going forward, the Republican leader — who has already declared himself a 2024 presidential candidate — could be suspended for up to two years for each violation of platform policies, Clegg said.

It was not clear when or if Trump will return to the platforms, and his representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the 76-year-old tycoon reacted in typically bullish fashion, crowing that Facebook had lost “billions of dollars in value” in his absence.

“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” he said on his Truth Social platform.

Facebook banned Trump a day after the January 6, 2021 uprising, when a mob of his supporters seeking to halt the certification of his election defeat to Joe Biden stormed the US Capitol in Washington.

The former reality TV star had spent weeks falsely claiming that the presidential election was stolen from him and he was subsequently impeached for inciting the riot.

In a letter asking for the ban to be overturned, Trump’s lawyer Scott Gast said last week that Meta had “dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”

He asked for a meeting to discuss Trump’s “prompt reinstatement to the platform” of Facebook, where he had 34 million followers, arguing that his status as the leading contender for the Republican nomination in 2024 justified ending the ban.

American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony Romero said Meta was making “the right call” by allowing Trump back onto the social network.

“Like it or not, President Trump is one of the country’s leading political figures and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech,” Romero said in a release.

“Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive social media posts ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration.”

The ACLU has filed more than 400 legal actions against Trump, according to Romero.

– Extremism engine? –

Advocacy groups such as Media Matters for America, however, vehemently oppose allowing Trump to exploit Facebook’s social networking reach.

“Make no mistake — by allowing Donald Trump back on its platforms, Meta is refueling Trump’s misinformation and extremism engine,” said Media Matters president Angelo Carusone.

“This not only will have an impact on Instagram and Facebook users, but it also presents intensified threats to civil society and an existential threat to United States democracy as a whole.”

A US congressional committee recommended in December that Trump be prosecuted for his role in the US Capitol assault.

His Twitter account, which has 88 million followers, was also blocked after the riot, leaving him to communicate through Truth Social, where he has fewer than five million followers.

Trump’s shock victory in 2016 was credited in part to his leverage of social media and his enormous digital reach.

New Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account last November, days after the brash billionaire announced a fresh White House run. He has yet to post.

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