Twitter is set to get rid of its checkmarks on April 1st, with the coveted blue badges only available to those paying for a Twitter Blue subscription. This raises the question of whether this will increase take-up of Twitter’s premium tier. However, in its first three months, Twitter Blue has only generated $11m in mobile subscriptions, according to Sensor Tower. This is noteworthy because Twitter is banking on Twitter Blue as advertising has traditionally accounted for the majority of Twitter’s revenue, which has seen a rapid decline.
The drop is partly due to the overall economy, which has resulted in a decrease in marketing spend, but also because advertisers have been hesitant to recommit to Twitter given its chaotic missteps, rapid-fire changes, and threats to general brand safety. While Twitter has tried to improve some of its relationships, including through partnerships with adtech firms, it remains unclear to what extent this has increased revenue.
Sensor Tower estimates that Twitter Blue has over 385,000 mobile subscribers worldwide across both iOS and Android, with the US being its largest market with 246,000 subscribers spending about $8m through mobile devices. It is unknown how many users Twitter has overall, but as of Q2 last year, it said it had almost 238 million monetizable daily active users.
Questions have arisen regarding how recurring that $11m will be over the coming months as annual subscriptions are expected to be a “minimal” proportion of this amount. Social media users typically are less willing to spend $100+ all at once than $11 for 1-2 months to try out a service.
Twitter Blue was originally launched in limited markets in 2021 as a service for power users, with perks such as bookmarking and early access to experiments via Twitter Labs, among others. However, under Elon Musk’s leadership, Blue has taken on a different emphasis and has become part of his strategy to rebuild Twitter’s revenue model. As such, the features, both those that are live and those that Twitter promises are coming, feel more central to the mainstream Twitter experience.
Subscriptions are being sold for $11 per month on iOS and Android, and $8 on the web. In its first month post-relaunch in December, US Twitter users on mobile devices had spent nearly $1.8m on Twitter Blue subscriptions. However, in India, Twitter’s second-largest market by users after the US, Sensor Tower says that only $301,000 has been spent on Blue since its launch in February, which is equivalent to around 17,000 mobile subscriptions.