Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that provides access to new features such as undoing tweets and viewing threads in an easier-to-digest “Reader Mode,” has been officially announced.
Starting on Thursday, it will be available in Canada and Australia for $3.49 CAD or $4.49 AUD per month, respectively. We already knew what features to expect from Twitter Blue thanks to app researcher Jane Manchun Wong’s sleuthing, but Twitter has now detailed everything the service includes.
A new undo send feature allows you to retract your tweets before they go public, and you can set a timer for undoing your tweets that lasts up to 30 seconds.
A Bookmark Folders feature allows you to organize saved tweets so they are easier to find later.
“Reader Mode” allows you to keep up with threads by “converting them into the easy-to-read text” and combining tweets into one page. Other Twitter Blue features are purely cosmetic: it introduces new colour theme options and the ability to change the colour of Twitter’s app icon.
According to the company, Twitter Blue subscribers will also have access to “dedicated subscription customer support.” According to Twitter, this means that Twitter Blue users will have an expedited timeframe for resolving issues. The expedited timeframe applies to any type of support ticket that you may file, which means you’ll get faster support for both account-related issues and reports of harassment.
Twitter’s abuse and harassment issues remain unresolved, and paid prioritization for support may spark some controversy.
Twitter Blue will be available first in Australia and Canada, according to the company, “to gain a deeper understanding of what will make your Twitter experience more customized, expressive, and generally speaking more [fire emoji].” The company did not provide a timetable for when Twitter Blue might be expanded to other regions.
Offering a paid subscription service is a significant shift in Twitter’s business model that the company has been contemplating for some time. Previously, the company relied primarily on advertising for revenue, but intense competition from Facebook and Snapchat’s ad businesses, as well as pressure from activist investors, have pushed it to look for new revenue streams.
Twitter began testing a Tip Jar service in early May, allowing users to send one-time payments to their favourite accounts. Super Follows, which was announced in February, will eventually allow users to charge subscription fees for things like bonus tweets, community groups, or newsletters. (Newsletters became possible after Twitter acquired the newsletter service Revue at the start of the year.) Twitter has not yet announced a date for the launch of its Super Follows feature.