X, formerly known as Twitter, is reportedly testing a trio of subscription tiers to help solve its financial woes. The company’s move towards paid services has been a persistent rumor, and recent reports suggest that these subscription options will impact the number of ads users see on the platform.
The proposed subscription tiers, discovered in the source code of the app’s most recent iOS update by a developer and leaker with the X handle @aaronp613, are expected to be categorized into Basic, Standard, and Plus.
- Basic users will continue to see the regular amount of ads.
- Standard users will see half of the ads, equivalent to a current perk exclusive to those who pay $8 monthly for a blue check.
- Plus users will see no ads whatsoever.
However, it remains unclear how much these tiers would cost. It’s also uncertain what additional perks these subscription tiers would provide paying users.
Introducing these paid plans raises questions about the experience for free account holders. Would they see twice or even three times the number of ads? This remains to be seen.
The rumor that X was going full-on pay-to-play comes from an off-hand comment made by Musk during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, it doesn’t look like this is part of any move to force people to pay for the service but rather a part of its overarching plan to become the “everything app”.
As for the company’s financials, Bloomberg reports that CEO Linda Yaccarino recently told bank lenders that advertisers have been returning to the platform, albeit with reduced budgets. On the other hand, Reuters just reported that X’s US ad revenue has plummeted each and every month since Musk’s acquisition, with the latest figures showing a 60% year-over-year decline as of August.
It’s hard to imagine that a reduction in the frequency of ads would be enough to entice many users to send a monthly stipend to one of the world’s richest men. So let’s wait and see what other perks the team cooks up for the three proposed subscription tiers.