Three paid subscription tiers may be coming to X

Rumours persist that X, formerly known as Twitter, is contemplating the integration of additional paid services to address its financial challenges. Bloomberg recently reported on the company’s experimentation with three subscription tiers, although precise details remain elusive. It appears that these paid options will influence the frequency of ads displayed on the platform.

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A developer linked to X delved into the source code of the app’s latest iOS update and uncovered information about these proposed subscription tiers, which has been gradually surfacing over the past week.

The subscription options are expected to be divided into Basic, Standard, and Plus tiers, mirroring the Bloomberg report. Basic users will continue to encounter the regular volume of ads, whether labelled as such or not. Standard users will see half the number of ads, equivalent to a current perk reserved for those who pay $8 monthly for a verified blue checkmark. Plus users will enjoy an ad-free experience, granting them unrestricted access to the diverse array of content circulating on the internet daily.

While the pricing for these tiers remains undisclosed, it is noteworthy that Meta is reportedly pursuing a similar path in Europe, where users might be charged up to $17 monthly for an ad-free experience on Instagram and Facebook.

Apart from the impact on ads, which hasn’t been officially confirmed by the company, there is uncertainty regarding the additional benefits these subscription tiers would offer to paying users. Moreover, it remains to be seen whether this foreshadows a shift towards mandatory subscriptions to use the platform. However, given that the paid basic plan purportedly maintains the existing ad frequency, the experience for free account holders is a matter of speculation. Could it involve double the ads? Triple the ads? Or perhaps Elon Musk appearing at your doorstep to attribute the company’s financial challenges to the Anti-Defamation League? The details are currently anyone’s guess.

It doesn’t appear that this move is geared toward compelling users to pay for the service. Instead, it aligns with Twitter/X’s overarching strategy to diversify monetization avenues as it strives to become the “everything app.” Reducing ad frequency alone may not be sufficient to convince many users to commit to a monthly subscription to one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Therefore, it remains to be seen what additional perks the team will unveil for the proposed subscription tiers.

Regarding the company’s financial performance, Bloomberg reports that CEO Linda Yaccarino recently informed bank lenders that advertisers are gradually returning to the platform, albeit with reduced budgets. In contrast, Reuters has noted a continuous decline in X’s US ad revenue since Musk’s acquisition, with the latest figures revealing a 60% year-over-year decline as of August.