Twitter failed to scare legacy verified accounts into paying for Twitter BlueReading Time: 4 minutes
These bleak numbers might be why Twitter checkmarks were merged.
On April 1, Twitter owner Elon Musk was supposed to strip all legacy verified accounts of their blue checkmark badges.
However, that didn’t happen. It’s unclear as to why Musk backtracked on this date. But, maybe this has something to do with it.
Only 12,305 of roughly 420,000 legacy verified accounts have subscribed to a paid Twitter Blue plan as of Tuesday. That’s just above 3 percent of the celebrities, pro athletes, influencers, and media personalities who make up the platform’s power users.
While Twitter Blue does provide some additional features such as being able to edit tweets and write longer posts, the major selling point promoted to users is the ability to simply get a checkmark next to your username by paying $8 per month (or $11 on mobile devices.)
The latest Twitter Blue data comes from independent researcher Travis Brown, who has been tracking Twitter data since January. Brown’s data accounts for roughly 90 percent of all Twitter Blue subscribers. Previous internal Twitter Blue data leaks have matched with Brown’s estimates.
If one adds government accounts with grey verified badges and business accounts which appear alongside a gold checkmark to the pool of legacy verified Twitter Blue subscribers, those numbers go up just slightly to around 15,000 users (or 3 and a half percent of these accounts in total).
Again, this is after Elon Musk threatened to take away approximately 420,000 users’ verified blue checkmark badges. And this is also following Musk’s announcement that only Twitter Blue subscribers would be promoted in Twitter’s default ‘For You’ feed.
With its biggest motivator yet to subscribe – the removal of the blue tick – Twitter was seemingly unable to even double its legacy verified Twitter Blue subscribers. One week before the April 1 date, Twitter had only converted 7,901 government, business, and legacy verified accounts into paying subscribers, so there was a slight uptick in subscribers as the April 1 date loomed. However, many celebrities – from LeBron James to Jack Black – have since gone public saying that they were not planning to pay for Twitter Blue.
And with that looming threat of verification removal gone at least for the time being, Twitter only saw around 67 of those legacy verified accounts subscribe to Twitter Blue in the days after April 1. If Musk’s moves were meant to result in a big uptick of legacy verified Twitter Blue subscribers, it just didn’t work.
In a since-deleted tweet, Musk claimed that Twitter would give legacy verified accounts a ‘few weeks grace, unless they tell they won’t pay now, in which we will remove it.’ However, the New York Times appears to have been the only legacy verified account that lost its checkmark badge. The news organization publicly stated it would not be paying for Twitter Blue last week.
How many Twitter Blue subscribers are there now?
Musk officially launched Twitter Blue in November of last year, but quickly suspended the service as users started paying for a verification badge to impersonate companies and brands. To combat this, Twitter rolled out a feature that showed who paid for Twitter Blue and who was a legacy verified account. Twitter Blue then relaunched in December.
This past weekend, amid the lackluster Blue signups, Musk reverted course and removed the note that distinguished the difference between a legacy verified user and a Twitter Blue subscriber with a checkmark. The Twitter Blue mark often resulted in mockery among Twitter’s most influential users, who often point out when a user paid for Twitter on the website.
Over the course of the nearly 4 months the subscription service has been live, Twitter has just barely crossed the 500,000 Twitter Blue subscriber threshold, according to Twitter Blue data from Brown. This would put Twitter Blue’s revenue at approximately $4 million per month.
And, it should be noted, that those numbers may very well be even lower. Multiple Twitter users have shared instances where the Twitter Blue checkmark continued to appear on their account even months after they canceled their paid subscription to the service. Brown explained that those accounts would be included in his data as Twitter continues to mark them as Blue subscribers.
Many Twitter Blue users have very few followers
As MediaDownloader previously reported, half of Twitter Blue’s paying subscribers don’t even have four-figures worth of followers and this is still the case with the inclusion of the latest data. Per that data, 244,562 Twitter Blue subscribers have fewer than 1,000 followers. Of those, 88,085 accounts have fewer than 100 followers. And then there’s the 2,585 Twitter Blue subscribers with no followers at all.
In a recent report from Bloomberg, web analytics company SimilarWeb found that of the 2.6 million people who visited the Twitter Blue subscription page on the web last month, only 116,000 people actually signed up for the service. And in a TechCrunch report from March, mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower estimated that Twitter Blue had accrued around 385,000 mobile subscribers over the three months since its relaunch.
Twitter Blue was originally available exclusively on iOS devices. However, following a brief feud over Apple’s cut of Twitter Blue subscriptions on iPhones and iPads, Twitter rolled out an option to subscribe via web. Musk has pushed for users to subscribe via Twitter’s website at $8 per month instead of the mobile price of $11 in order to avoid the revenue share with Apple. However, based on the data, it appears the vast majority of Twitter users have opted not to listen to Musk.
If Musk hopes that Twitter Blue subscriptions will one day make up for the loss of half its advertisers, the company has a lot of work ahead of itself. A recent report found that among the Twitter advertisers that did stick around, ad spend is down 89 percent compared to before Musk acquired the company.
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