Are you also among those who hate ads popping up as you browse your social media feeds? Well, you may be getting your whim soon, as Twitter chief executive officer Elon Musk recently announced online the plans of the social networking platform to launch an ad-free subscription soon. But it will be more expensive.
Ad-free subscription to raise revenue
Twitter is looking at providing an advertising-free version of its subscription product, as the company aims to raise revenue and increase demand for its premium offering.
Its CEO, Elon Musk, has targeted an increase in subscription revenue as a crucial part of the social networking platform’s business plan under this leadership.
Musk, also the CEO of Tesla, tweeted on Sunday, “There will be a higher priced subscription that allows zero ads.”
If you can recall, Twitter relaunched its premium offering for the second time under his management last December, offering its users perks that include verified account status for $8 a month on the web or $11 a month for Android phone and iPhone users.
Over 500 companies pausing spending on Twitter
Advertising accounted for 90 percent of Twitter’s revenue but has dwindled since Musk bought the company last October, with daily revenue reportedly dropping 40 percent compared to the previous year.
Big advertisers, including the German carmaker Audi and the American drugs firm Pfizer, have paused spending on Twitter. This is amidst fears of a rise in hate speech on the social media platform, compounded by a botched revamp of Twitter Blue last November that led to pranksters paying for verified statues just to launch fake corporate accounts.
Musk also tweeted, “Ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in coming weeks.”
To pay for an outstanding debt?
The Twitter CEO aims to reduce the social network’s dependency on advertising as payment looms for an interest payment on the $13 billion debt he loaded on the company as part of the takeover. Reports said Twitter is due to make a quarterly payment amounting to $300 million this month, potentially as soon as this week.
Last November, Musk told staff Twitter might not survive a future downturn without a substantial increase in subscription income.
He wrote in a company-wide email, “Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn. We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.”
Twitter’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, is currently available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.
Musk has likened the social networking platform to a “plane that is headed towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.”
He has also flagged the prospect of bankruptcy for a business he purchased for $44 billion. However, last month, the CEO played down the possibility of Twitter going bust, saying it was “not on the fast lane to bankruptcy anymore.”
Many netizens responded to Musk’s tweets on Twitter’s plan to launch the ad-free subscription.
“You haven’t seen Instagram (you have, I know): an ad every 3 pictures. Complete garbage experience. I’ve long stopped using it,” Twitter netizen @giano replied. “If you make ads less intrusive here and offer features that appeal visual communities, there are millions of users over there ready to migrate.”
Musk responded to his tweet reply, saying, “That’s the plan!”
Meanwhile, other netizens on Twitter are hopeful yet coming up with suggestions. @RuwaydaMustafah tweeted, “Retweet & heart count needs to go. Just leave the impressions.”