April 19, 2024
Does Elon Musk Make Money From X (Twitter) Subscriptions?

After purchasing Twitter, now named X, Elon Musk made a change to the blue checkmark verification system. The checkmark became a part of the X Premium subscription, with users able to pay $8 a month to purchase one.

How Much Does Elon Musk Get From an X Subscription?

As the owner of X, Elon Musk receives the profit generated by the company. This means that he would directly benefit from an X subscription. However, for X to make him money, the company would first have to be profitable. Before Elon Musk’s takeover, X, then named Twitter, was losing more than it earned most years. Since then, according to Musk, advertiser spending on the platform has fallen sharply, making the situation worse. According to X CEO Linda Yaccarino, the platform was not profitable in 2023. 

What Happens to Elon Musk If X (Twitter) Goes Under?

Elon Musk had to borrow around $13 billion of the $44 billion total Twitter buyout. If X shuts down, it would be a significant financial loss for him. In addition to spending billions of dollars on a company that failed, it might mean that he would need to sell Tesla stock to repay debts, which could negatively impact the company’s value.

Is X (Twitter) Incentivizing Violent Content?

Users who pay $8 or $16 a month on X can apply to the platform’s ads revenue-sharing program. This means that users can profit from posting content viewed by others, getting a share of the ad revenue that X receives from advertisers.

Monetization can incentivize an account to post content that gets the maximum amount of impressions and interactions. Unfortunately, that sort of content can often be inflammatory or engineered to outrage users. Studies have found that people interact more with content that makes them angry or morally outraged and that this has led to a large amount of online content meant to stoke those feelings.

The ability for accounts to directly profit from views can make this worse, especially if rules regarding violent or discriminatory content are not enforced. X has platform rules that ban content of a violent, hateful or sensitive nature. However, the platform will not remove content if it is considered to be relevant to the public interest, even if the content violates these policies. Content exceptions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

How Paid Verification Started on X (Twitter)

Back when Twitter was a public company before it was bought by Elon Musk, verification worked differently. According to Twitter’s guide for verification, the purpose of the blue check mark was to let users know that an account of public interest was authentic. There were three main criteria that an account had to fulfill to be eligible for verification — authenticity, notability and activity. 

Users would request verification through Twitter’s settings and be required to provide documentation that proved the authenticity and notability of the account. To prove authenticity users could provide an official website, some form of ID verification or a relevant official email address. To prove notability users could submit news coverage about the person or organization in question, as well as Google Trends data or Wikipedia articles. Accounts with a large number of followers could also be considered notable.

In addition, an account had to be active, which meant that the account had to be public, have had at least one login within six months, and must not have had a 12-hour or 7-day ban imposed for violating any rules within the past 12 months.

Changes Under Elon Musk

Once Elon Musk took over the company, he announced a change to the verification system. Twitter would relaunch its old subscription service Twitter Blue, with a new bonus — subscribers would get the blue checkmark next to their name. The service cost $8 a month for users who subscribed through the Twitter website and $11 for those who subscribed through an iOS device. The price difference was due to Apple taking a 30% cut of all in-app payments on its devices.

Twitter Blue, now renamed to X Premium, has three tiers — Basic, Premium and Premium+. These tiers cost $3, $8 and $16 per month, respectively. Only Premium and Premium+ have access to a blue checkmark. 

Does Paying For X Premium Make Sense?

Whether you should pay for X Premium depends on whether you use X regularly and need access to features such as monetization, post editing and the ability to upload longer videos. If you do, an X Premium subscription might make sense. While the blue checkmark might be negatively viewed by some, it is possible to turn it off in the site’s settings.

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