Musk announces more expensive ad-free Twitter subscription

Twitter chief Elon Musk announced in a series of tweets on Saturday that the company’s subscription service would show users less advertising, including an ad-free tier.

The announcement comes as the social network has faced significant financial uncertainty since Musk took over in October.

“The announcements are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in the coming weeks,” Musk posted on his Twitter account Saturday.

And for those who choose it, “there will be a higher-priced subscription that will allow for zero ads,” Musk added.

It would be a radical change in Twitter’s business model, which until now has relied on targeted advertising to generate revenue, before launching a paid subscription service in mid-December.

But advertising has been a question mark for Twitter of late, after Musk laid off about half of the company’s 7,500 workers late last year. The move sparked concerns that the company was understaffed to carry out content moderation and scared off governments and advertisers.

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Musk said his strategy was to massively reduce costs while increasing revenue, and that a new subscription service called Twitter Blue, which gives users a much-sought-after blue verification mark for a fee, would help achieve that goal .

The service costs $11 a month in the United States and is available on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems, according to a page on the company’s website.

Web subscriptions are also available for $8 per month or, at a discount, $84 per year.

Twitter Blue is currently available in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.

Twitter led by Musk has been wracked by chaos, with mass layoffs, the return of banned accounts and the suspension of journalists critical of the South African-born billionaire.

Musk’s takeover also saw a rise in racist or hateful tweets, which drew scrutiny from regulators and drove away big advertisers, Twitter’s main source of revenue.

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