Elon Musk's X rolls out two new premium subscription plans

The $16-a-month Premium+ service offers an ad-free experience to users

Premium+ users will get the biggest boost for their replies compared with other Premium tiers or unverified users, X said. PA
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Elon Musk’s social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, unveiled two new subscription plans on Friday, including a Premium+ tier targeted at users who are willing to pay for an ad-free experience.

The move comes as its billionaire owner seeks to diversify revenue sources.

The Premium+ plan, priced at about $16 per month, includes all the platform's tools and features, without the ads, the company said in a post on the micro blogging platform.

Premium+ users will also get the biggest boost for their replies compared with other Premium tiers or unverified users, it added.

However, this plan will be available only for users accessing the platform through a web browser for now, according to X.

The basic tier is priced at $3 per month but is not ad-free and “it offers access to the most essential Premium features”, the company said.

The Premium+ plan builds on features offered in the Blue subscription plan costing $3 a month and a Premium plan priced at $8 monthly.

Listed features of Premium+ include a blue tick next to names in profiles along with a visible ID verification label, X said.

X’s website and app are currently accessible to all users free of charge.

Mr Musk has previously said that introducing a fee for using the platform would deter people from creating fraudulent or automated accounts for disseminating misinformation, propaganda and scams.

He bought San Francisco-based Twitter for about $44 billion last October. He immediately announced several major changes to the platform and laid off thousands of staff.

The changes are part of efforts aimed at boosting user experience and diversifying the company’s revenue sources after the platform's advertising income dropped last year, according to Mr Musk.

In December, Twitter relaunched Twitter Blue, the platform’s then top-tier account, which indicates that a user is verified, as a paid subscription service.

The premium feature’s fees start at $8 a month for individuals, with joiners getting subscriber-only features including Edit Tweet, 1080p video uploads, reader mode, the coveted blue check mark and longer tweets.

The costs of keeping the ticks start at $1,000 a month for organisations, plus $50 monthly for each affiliate or employee account.

In April, the platform said it would take a 10 per cent cut on content subscriptions after the first year. Users are able to offer their followers subscriptions to content, including long-form text and hours-long video.

Mr Musk rebranded the platform to X in July in a move that reportedly wiped out between $4 billion and $20 billion in value, according to analysts and brand agencies.

The platform also introduced voice and video calls on Thursday. While only premium subscribers can make calls at present, all accounts can receive them, the company said.

The feature is now available on Apple's iOS and will soon be available on Android.

Users can control who can call them through the direct messages settings. To call another user, they must have sent you a direct message at least once before, X said.

Flashing sign removed from HQ of X, formerly Twitter

Flashing sign removed from HQ of X, formerly Twitter

The social media platform now also requires users to have an account and be logged in to view user profiles and tweets, a move Mr Musk claims will prevent data from being “pillaged so much”.

The company is also planning to introduce a payments feature to tap into new revenue streams, the Financial Times reported in January.

Updated: October 28, 2023, 8:37 AM