“Figuring out a way to charge users for premium features and make money off of users is not a bad idea,” Enberg said.
But she said the benefits Twitter offered may not have been enticing enough, and that the verification aspect should be more of a security feature than a monetizable feature.
Finally, because paid subscribers – arguably the most active on the network – would see 50 per cent less advertising than non-paying users, the plan would “dilute the quality and the size of the addressable audience for advertisers.”
Some newer platforms are trying to do without advertising altogether, with no guarantee of long-term viability.
For example, on Discord, a live-discussion social network, subscribers have access to more emoticons.
And on the fledgling photo-sharing app BeReal, users can escape ads with in-app purchases for extra features, according to the Financial Times.
Twitter had some 230 million daily active users as of June, and Musk continues to congratulate himself on growing that number since taking over.
But increased users do not necessarily translate into dollars.
Snapchat, which also launched a paid version in June, has gained more and more users, but not necessarily money.
Faced with this reality, platforms are competing for content creators to attract and retain audiences – and either taking commission or making them pay for the promotion of their messages and videos.
This represents “a really big opportunity” for Twitter, Enberg said.
Twitter “does have a lot of celebrities and big-name influencers, politicians and journalists” with whom it could form a mutually financially beneficial relationship, she said.
Milanesi added that while the network already offers some promotional tools, they are “quite expensive, and not very effective.”