OPINION: Twitter is reportedly plotting a premium subscription. Here’s the list of features our US writer Chris Smith would need in order to justify paying for the social network.
A Bloomberg report on Monday said Twitter is considering multiple tactics to boost income beyond just adding new users. The project, internally codenamed “Rogue One”, could see the option for users to pay for exclusive content from accounts they enjoy, with Twitter taking a cut. A charge for Tweetdeck is also mentioned by the report.
In the past, Twitter has previously acknowledged it is exploring subscription offers, but in July said: “We have a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter.” Here’s a wish list of features I’d want before considering handing over a few bucks to Jack Dorsey and co.:
‘Edit’ and ‘undo send’ buttons
This shouldn’t be a feature users have to pay for, but if Twitter really wants to coax subscriptions it’d put this forever-requested feature behind the paywall. All I’m asking is that Twitter lets us correct typos. I’d be cool with the tweet could carrying an ‘Edited’ label and offering the opportunity for followers to see the version history. Anything to avoid deleting the tweet and reposting minus the typo.
This goes without saying. If Twitter wants us to pay for Twitter then we don’t want to see any advertisements at all. No promoted tweets, unless they’re from accounts we follow.
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Tweets in chronological order (no exceptions):
Twitter currently gives users the option too see the latest tweets first, rather than its personalised algorithm of top tweets, based upon how frequently you interact with those accounts. However, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to switch back to ‘show me the latest tweets’ when I open the Twitter app for iPhone. Get this sorted.
If Twitter puts up a paywall, I want to see something free users don’t. Popular accounts could offer premium content that’s only available to subscribers. Content creators see a little revenue for their output, just like YouTube, and we get to compensate them for their efforts. How about access to exclusive sports, e-sports and music events as part of a premium subscription?
Smarter unfollowing and mute tools
Twitter could make these features more efficient for users. I’d like to mute Man United fans for just the day after Liverpool lose, for example, rather using the blunt implement and forgetting about it when I’ve calmed down. I’d also like to see Twitter add suggestions for who to unfollow. If there’s an account I’ve been following for years, but never interact with. Twitter should proactively help me trim the fat on my feed.
Better tweet archiving tools
Given the current social climate, most people’s social media accounts could use a little spring cleaning. I know for sure I wouldn’t be completely proud of everything I’ve ever tweeted in over a decade. My opinions on certain subjects have doubtless evolved, I’m a little more mature less prone to rage tweeting.
However, in order to delete your old tweets now, you need to do them one at a time, or use a third-party service. I’d like Twitter to have the option of automatically archiving tweets from your public-facing account after a certain period of time, or provide the option of mass deletion of old takes.
Digital health tools
Most of us are prone to a little doom scrolling and heaven knows there’s been plenty of doom to scroll in the last few months. If we’re not generating revenue through ads anymore, Twitter could do more to protect users’ digital health. We’re thinking the ability to add usage limits, to proactively advise against tweets at a certain time of night, more robust tools for avoiding certain topics if constantly reading about how new Covid variants might be vaccine resistant, etc..
A robust multi-platform Tweetdeck app
Twitter purchased the Tweetdeck app way back in 2011, but it hasn’t done an awful lot with the platform – which enables users to view multiple, customised feeds at the same time – since. Rumours suggest charging for Tweetdeck, which retains a loyal following, might be an option for Twitter in looking to open up new revenue streams. The Tweetdeck apps for iPhone and Android were discontinued in 2013. A better-than-ever return would be a feature I’d consider subscribing for.
What’s on your Twitter wish list? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.