On Friday, X surprised its users by introducing a new subscription plan called Premium+. Priced at $16 per month, this plan offers users the opportunity to get the biggest boost for their replies on the platform. With an ad-free experience, X promises to provide “the largest reply boost” to its Premium+ subscribers. This new plan builds upon the features of the current Blue subscription plan ($3/month) and the Premium Plan ($8/month). Among the listed features of Premium+ are a blue tick and a visible ID verification label on profiles.
Since the announcement of the Premium+ plan, X has faced criticism from users and industry analysts alike. Elon Musk, who acquired X a year ago for $44 billion, has made several controversial changes to the social media platform. Musk’s decision to charge new users in New Zealand and the Philippines for basic features, as part of a trial to reduce spam, received mixed reviews. While Musk has suggested charging all X users, this idea was widely panned as it could further decrease the platform’s appeal to advertisers.
Musk’s Impact on X’s Management and Product
In the wake of his acquisition, Musk wasted no time in implementing significant changes to X. He swiftly fired numerous Twitter executives and took the publicly traded company private. Additionally, he laid off a significant portion of the San Francisco-based company’s workforce, reducing the number of employees from 8,000 to fewer than 1,500. Furthermore, Musk made controversial decisions that altered the platform’s content moderation, reinstated accounts of previously banned extremists, and allowed users to purchase account verification, even though such posts often contained misinformation. Musk defended these changes in the name of free speech, attracting both praise and criticism.
The Plummet of X’s Advertising Business
The past year has not been kind to X’s advertising business, with marketers losing confidence in the platform. To generate revenue from subscriptions, Musk started charging users for features that were originally offered for free, such as blue tick marks intended for authentication purposes. These changes were an effort to make X more financially viable, but they have come at the cost of advertisers’ trust.
In a recent post by Musk, it was revealed that X is exploring the addition of video and audio calling features to the platform. Musk’s vision for X is to transform it into an “everything app” inspired by China’s WeChat, a super app that offers a diverse range of functionalities from socializing to financial management. While this ambitious plan may sound promising, its implementation and success remain to be seen.
Is Premium+ Worth the Hype?
With the introduction of the Premium+ plan, X is attempting to offer a premium experience to its users. However, the controversies surrounding Musk’s decisions and the negative impact on advertisers may make users hesitant to invest in the new subscription plan. While features like a blue tick and ID verification label certainly have their appeal, users must weigh the benefits against the platform’s current state and direction.
X’s Premium+ plan has garnered attention and criticism. Musk’s controversial changes to management and product, combined with the decline in X’s advertising business, have raised questions about the platform’s viability and user trust. Whether Premium+ can justify its price tag and attract a significant number of subscribers remains uncertain. Only time will tell if X can successfully navigate the complexities of its evolving landscape and regain the confidence of its users and advertisers.