I have some comments on the whole Twitter Blue thing, but they’re going to take more space than Twitter will allow. I’ve used Twitter daily since around 2011/2012, and I’ve had an account since it launched. In that time I’ve seen a lot of strange things, including DMs from people claiming to be high-profile celebrities who eventually turned out to be nothing more than crooks with recycled confidence schemes.
On the other hand, I’ve seen it used as an amazing platform to launch careers. And I’m not talking about influencers…people famous for being famous. I’m talking about musicians, actors, comedians, writers…true creators. I include my own writing career in that number. I believe…no, I know that my books would not have had as wide a reach if not for Twitter.
But, I strongly feel that Twitter Blue is going to bring all of it, the good and the bad, crashing down in a misguided attempt to generate income for the platform.
Twitter Blue claims to offer some compelling features. I say “claims” because when you click on the button that leads to subscribing, you’re met with a notice that it’s “not yet available in your country.” It claims to make your replies jump to the top of any thread. It claims you’ll see 50% fewer ads. It claims to give you the ability to post longer and higher resolution videos. And, Twitter Blue promises to grant us access to additional exclusive features in the future. These are good things that I can see people being convinced to pay for.
But, I’m afraid the bad is even more compelling.
Twitter Blue is tied to account verification, and it shouldn’t be.
Think about why verification was introduced in the first place. As Twitter began to take off as a platform, and more-and-more celebrities and notable people flocked to the service, conmen also saw an opportunity and flocked to the service. The only way you could know if it was *actually* “Edward James Olmos” who followed you and replied to a tweet was to see that little blue check next to his account name.
That security is now gone. Anyone willing to pay $8/month gets a blue checkmark.
If something kills Twitter, it’s not going to be because of some perceived “Free Speech” issue (which, I hope by now you’ve come to understand is a political red herring and 21st century conservative shibboleth). It’s going to be because the platform’s bread-and-butter, the celebrities and influencers who drive ad revenue by the sheer volume of interaction they generate, are going to have no other choice but to drift away to some other platform that understands the purpose of account verification.
If I ever subscribe to a Twitter service, it will be for the following reasons:
1. To make sure ALL of my followers see my book/blog ads.
There is no 2. It’s only #1 that matters to me. I use Twitter to drive sales. That’s its sole purpose for existing in my life, and I’ve made no secret of it. I use Twitter to bring people to this blog. Through my blog articles, I hope that people become interested in the books I sell and actually buy them. I even wrote a 10-part series on how to effectively use Twitter for this very purpose.
What I won’t do is pay for a blue checkmark. I should get a blue checkmark by virtue of being able to prove, beyond any doubt, that I am who I say I am, and because there might be a conman out there who thinks he can squeeze money out of someone by pretending to be me.
I’m not a “sky is falling” person. Let’s be realistic; Twitter is going to live a long and healthy life, even if bankruptcy is in its future. After all, MySpace (remember that?) is still around because it pivoted and found a niche it could fill wonderfully.
But, I’m afraid that a lot of vulnerable people are going to be hurt by this move, and I hope Twitter reconsiders.
Sign up for the free Erindor Press newsletter. Stay Informed. Be a better writer. Your contact information will NEVER be shared for ANY reason. Join Nat on Facebook for additional content that he doesn’t post on the blog or on Twitter. Be part of the conversation! Head on over to The Mukhtaar Estate and see what everyone’s talking about!