Twitter is not caving - yet - to users' demands for an "edit" button, but it is offering something close: an "undo tweet" option as part of its new subscription service, Twitter Blue, which debuts in Canada and Australia Thursday.
The basic service will continue to be free, but for a monthly fee, users can access special features that Twitter claims will take the platform experience to "the next level."
The "undo tweet" function allows users to preview a tweet and set a timer that lasts up to 30 seconds before it actually posts so they get one more chance to correct or rethink it. Another feature is bookmark folders, which helps users organize saved tweets. Twitter Blue subscribers also get reader mode, which converts long Twitter threads into consolidated text for easier reading.
Other Twitter Blue features include the ability to change the color of the Twitter app icon and the look inside the app. Subscribers also have access to a dedicated customer support team.
Twitter has been free to use since its founding 15 years ago and relies on advertising dollars for revenue. But as the ad market becomes more competitive and complicated, tech and media companies have sought to make money directly from their users. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in July 2020 that his company was exploring subscriptions as a "new line of revenue."
The product has long been in the works. Researcher Jane Manchun Wong uncovered some of the service's features earlier this year and tweeted specifically about Twitter Blue last month. Twitter's app store listings also recently updated to include Twitter Blue as an in-app purchase.
Twitter Blue costs $3.49 CAD or $4.49 AUD per month. Twitter said in a blog post that this release is an "initial phase" to "gain a deeper understanding" of what Twitter users want.
"We will be listening to feedback and building out even more features and perks for our subscribers over time," the blog post said.
Twitter has been working on other paid products. Last month, Twitter acquired Scroll, a startup that offered ad-free viewing of news sites for a monthly fee. Earlier this week, Twitter announced a partnership with climate journalist and meteorologist Eric Holthaus on Tomorrow. Billed as a local weather news service, Tomorrow will also include long-form journalism published on Revue, a newsletter product Twitter acquired in January.
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