What is Twitter Blue? Social media platform's new subscription service explained - how could it work?

Friday, 28th May 2021, 3:04 pm
The Twitter Blue subscription service has been much rumoured over recent months (Photo: Sattalat Phukkum/Shutterstock)
The Twitter Blue subscription service has been much rumoured over recent months (Photo: Sattalat Phukkum/Shutterstock)

Twitter has listed a new subscription service in online app stores, suggesting the social network may soon begin trialling the new feature.

Twitter Blue now appears as a possible in-app purchase when viewing the Twitter app in app stores, with the service listed at £2.49, but it does not yet appear to be accessible inside the Twitter app.

But what is Twitter Blue, and what does it mean for users on the social networking platform?

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is Twitter Blue?

The subscription service, which has been much rumoured over recent months, is said to give special Twitter features to those who sign up.

These features are thought to include a reader mode to make reading longer threads easier, and there have also been reports of an “undo tweets” tool being included that would allow users to quickly retract tweets.

According to technology blogger Jane Manchun Wong, who claims to have become the first tester of the new service, the undo tweet option is indeed there, as well as new customisable app colour schemes and the ability to customise the colour of the Twitter app icon.

It does not appear to be related to Twitter’s blue tick verification service, which allows the identity of governments, companies, brands, news organisations and journalists, entertainment, sports and gaming organisations, activists, organisers, and other influential individuals using the platform to be confirmed.

How do I get Twitter Blue?

At the time of writing, Twitter Blue has not been formally released to the public.

Twitter has not yet commented on the in-app purchase listing or confirmed any plans around the testing or potential public rollout of Twitter Blue, and it is likely to go through a lengthy testing phase before any eventual full launch.

What else is new to Twitter?

The social media platform has been taking steps to diversify its business and the experiences available on the service.

Last month, Twitter launched a Tip Jar for profiles which enables users to send money to others on the platform as a way to “receive and show support” on the site.

The tool adds a new Tip Jar icon to a user’s profile and gives payment options to anyone who taps it, with services such as PayPal already signed up.

So far, content creators, journalists, experts and non-profit organisations have been among the first groups to be given access to the new tool.

Twitter said it would not take any commission from transactions that take place, and it plans to steadily expand Tip Jar to more people and more languages in the future.

Using the social media platform to solicit tips for their work has been a common practice on Twitter for many years, with many people ending viral threads with links to their work or their page on subscription sites such as Patreon.

(Photo: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, a study found that correcting misinformation on Twitter may only make the problem worse.

Researchers offered polite corrections complete with links to solid evidence in replies to flagrantly false tweets about politics.

But they found this had negative consequences, leading to even less accurate tweets and greater toxicity from those being corrected. Lead author Dr Mohsen Mosleh, from the University of Exeter, said the findings were “not encouraging”.

To conduct the experiment, researchers identified 2,000 Twitter users, with a mix of political persuasions, who had tweeted out any one of 11 frequently repeated false news articles.

Examples included the incorrect assertion that Ukraine donated more money than any other nation to the Clinton Foundation, and the false claim that Donald Trump, as a landlord, once evicted a disabled combat veteran for owning a therapy dog.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, NationalWorld