Elon Musk took over Twitter, recently and announced a new feature called Twitter Blue. I tried it out, so you don’t have to.
I love Twitter. It’s always been one of my favourite social media sites and I’ve been using it since 2011. Twitter was recently bought by Elon Musk (and even if you aren’t on Twitter you must know who he is, unless you live under a rock) and he has brought about some changes and new tricks to Twitter. I am not going to discuss the mild discomfort I feel around free speech, the political slant and other aspects of his takeover of Twitter, because that’s a can of worms I don’t feel I have the skills to talk about right now.
But, if you are familiar with Twitter, you know that people with large accounts, who are recognised by Twitter as authentic, with something to contribute, verified as genuine, have a blue tick next to their name. It’s seen as a status symbol. Most of us common folk aspire to a blue tick but know it won’t come our way.
One of the changes that Mr Musk brought about was something called Twitter Blue. A paid for blue tick system.
What is Twitter Blue?
Twitter Blue is an opt-in, paid monthly subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select new features, like Edit Tweet. They also promise less adverts in your feed and that your tweets are pushed further up the algorithm and are seen more.
I must admit, I was one of the many scoffers. And it does look, frankly, pretty wanky and pretentious to have a blue tick next to your name, when you clearly aren’t famous or a verified big account. I also wasn’t that keen on paying for features I think should be free. Facebook allows you to edit posts, so does Instagram. I often make spelling errors because I type fast and type as I think (hello ADHD brain) and to be able to correct those would be great.
But I was intrigued, so I decided to swallow the cost of a month’s fees (about £7) to see what Twitter Blue did.
I signed up, got my blue tick, and carried on. A few people commented and made fun of me, a few people asked me why, and a few people were interested to know what I thought.
So here they are:
It didn’t push my posts and get me more traction – to be fair, my Tweeting has been sporadic of late, due to life getting in the way and frankly, the best way to be seen, get your tweets noticed and to grow is the old fashioned way, which is interacting, following and being present and active. So, maybe I can’t say it made a difference.
I didn’t see very much less in the way of adverts and advertising. I usually count about ten tweets from my feed of people I follow then an advert. That didn’t change. However, I do admit that Twitter Blue is new and the tweaking and changing they are doing may mean that this feature actually does start to work. I hate seeing adverts in my feed that are badly targeted or not relevant so If it did make a difference it might be worth paying for. I am yet to be convinced.
The edit tweet function is great. It is pretty restrictive though. You can only edit for 30 minutes after you have tweeted. I believe this is to help prevent people sharing stuff then changing it. Social media does have it’s dark side and people do use Twitter in a less than your mother would approve of you saying something nice way, so I guess the edit feature comes with logical restrictions. You can also pause and unsend a post which is also handy, if you change your mind or think you might regret a Tweet.
So, my subscription ran out. Have I renewed it? Nope.
They have actually changed the features slightly and stopped people from signing up and now you have to use your real name and they verify your account. You also can’t change your profile photo or name without a fiddly process of being reverified. I don’t know how the verification process works but I am reluctant to be handing over ID details to a social media site, so I don’t think I will be signing up again for it. They have also put the price up and it’s $11 to use on iOS which is the system I use.
So, it was fun for a month, but it really hasn’t made a huge change to my life, and I won’t be paying for it again.
It’s a good idea in principal but it’s not enough for the monthly fee they want.
So, I tried Twitter Blue, so you don’t have to. Or maybe, you aren’t cynical like me and are thinking about giving it a go…?
If you aren’t following me on Twitter, why not? You can here. You know you want to!