Twitter Blue, the subscription Elon Musk is counting on for the future success of the company he just bought, is coming back this week. In addition to the controversial verification badge it offers, the subscription will allow for the first time on Twitter to publish long-form articles. The previous 280-character limit will be extended to 4,000 characters.
Twitter Blue payers will be able to post longer articles on the platform
Twitter as a “micro-blogging” platform has until now relied on the character limit itself, which encouraged user creativity. Initially, it was 140 characters, which is just enough to fit in a text message. That’s because Twitter posts could also be made directly from your phone in SMS format, before the advent of smartpone apps. Then the limit was doubled to 280 characters to include more information. However, Twitter management has not shown any interest in increasing this limit so far.
Elon Musk, however, wants to make long posts available only to those willing to pay for them. So if you want a verification badge, or if you just want 4,000-character posts, you’ll have to pay. Also, payment will differ by platform. Those who subscribe to Twitter Blue from the site will pay $8, but those who choose to subscribe via the iOS app will pay $11.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2022
Musk justifies the higher price by the need to pay 30% of the transaction value commission to Apple. Twitter wouldn’t be the first app to charge iPhone users more. YouTube Premium and YouTube Music offer more expensive in-app subscription options than directly on the site or on Android phones. But other companies have resorted to other methods: they’ve turned their apps into simple access platforms, and subscriptions can’t be enrolled at all on iOS. You have to already have an account and a subscription made on another platform or in the browser to use Netflix, for example.