Twitter Blue is struggling to get subscribers according to report

  • A document seen by The Information reportedly reveals there are as few as 180 000 Twitter Blue subscribers in the US.
  • Globally there are just 290 000 Twitter Blue subscribers.
  • This stands in stark contrast to the $300 million interest payment Twitter paid to service loans Musk took out to acquire the platform.

As it turns out, folks don’t want to pay to use Twitter and Elon Musk’s grand plan of generating half of the website’s revenue through subscriptions may need more time in the oven.

This is because according to a document seen by The Information (paywall), Twitter Blue subscribers amount to just 180 000 accounts in the US as of mid-January. Extrapolating on the information contained in the document, the publication further reports that global subscriptions of Twitter Blue amount to just 290 000 accounts.

A bit of dirty napkin math assuming all of those accounts are paying the $8 fee (pricing differs depending on where you are and what digital storefront you use) this brings the amount of money Twitter Blue brings in to a cool $27.8 million per year.

As BoingBoing puts into perspective, Twitter just paid $300 million to service the interest on a $13 billion loan Elon Musk took out to buy Twitter. Revenue from Twitter Blue then is minuscule alongside the firm’s debt.

Before Musk took over at Twitter, revenue from subscriptions [pdf] – which included subscriptions to the Twitter Developer Platform, Twitter Blue and other offerings – amounted to $101 million. Unfortunately, we don’t know how much Twitter Blue was making before Musk but given its availability was severely limited, we suspect it wasn’t as big as it is now.

By contrast, advertising revenue in Q2 2022 sat at $1.08 billion which makes Musk’s behaviour toward advertisers since his tenure even more unnerving.

While we’re sure expanding to other countries will help generate more revenue for Twitter, these low numbers don’t inspire much confidence.

Perhaps locking the ability to earn money on Twitter through advertising revenue sharing is enough to draw in more Twitter Blue subscriptions but we honestly don’t know if it is. This is the first time we’ve heard of a major social network locking revenue sharing behind a paywall.

Granted, Twitter Blue could draw in more subscribers as it expands to new areas. However, considering that the US accounts for 62 percent of subscriptions to the service, we aren’t holding our breath that availability in the likes of South Africa, will improve revenue by much.


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