Elon Musk reveals new Twitter feature that allows readers who have not signed up to monthly subscriptions to pay per article through the platform – as he desperately seeks to boost social media giant’s revenue
- Musk on Saturday said the new feature would be available starting in May
- Would supposedly allow Twitter users to read paywall articles on a per-view fee
- Many details about the feature, including the fee amounts, remain unclear
Elon Musk has teased a new Twitter feature which he says will allow media publishers to charge readers on a per-article basis for paywall articles they access through the platform.
‘Rolling out next month, this platform will allow media publishers to charge users on a per article basis with one click,’ Musk tweeted on Saturday.
‘This enables users who would not sign up for a monthly subscription to pay a higher per article price for when they want to read an occasional article. Should be a major win-win for both media orgs & the public,’ he added.
A number of major news publishers charge monthly subscription fees for access to their online articles, and the new feature would presumably give them the alternative option to charge Twitter users per-article through an integrated payment function.
Elon Musk has teased a new Twitter feature which he says will allow media publishers to charge readers on a per-article basis for paywall articles
Many details about the plan remained unclear, including the amount of the per-article fees, and how much of a cut Twitter would take.
Since taking control of Twitter in October, Musk has announced — and implemented — a slew of new features and product changes, many of which are aimed at boosting revenue for the cash-strapped social media company.
Earlier in April, Musk announced plans to let Twitter users offer their followers paid subscriptions to content, including long-form text and hours-long video.
Users offering the subscription, a feature they can access through the ‘Monetization’ tab in settings, will initially get all the money subscribers pay apart from the charges platforms such as Android and iOS levy.
Twitter will not take a cut for the first 12 months, but after that will take a 10 percent, Musk revealed earlier this week.
Musk has been bringing in changes to boost revenue at Twitter after the social media platform saw advertising income drop last year in the run up to his $44 billion acquisition.
Since taking over, Musk has swiftly moved through a number of product and organizational changes.
The company rolled out its Twitter-verified blue tick as a paid service and shrunk the employee-base by about 80 percent.
The social media firm was now ‘roughly breaking even’, Musk said in a recent Twitter Spaces interview.
The New York Times is among a number of news publishers that charge monthly subscription fees for access to their online articles
However, not all of Musk’s revenue-generating moves have gone over smoothly with institutional Twitter users.
Earlier this week, New York’s transit system said it would not longer issue service alerts on Twitter, saying the company wanted $50,000 a month for access to the interface that allowed it to automatically publish its alerts.
Last month, Twitter announced a new pricing system that would charge for access to its application programming interface, or API, which is used by accounts that post frequent alerts, such as transit and weather agencies.
‘The amount that is being posed is astronomical,’ Shanifah Rieara, the MTA’s acting chief customer officer,’ told the Associated Press. ‘We are all about bringing ridership back. We should not be paying to communicate service alerts to our customers.’