Some of this signup activity was largely driven by Elon Musk’s proclamation that users who initially got their blue checkmark for free would lose it unless they pay the $8 per month fee.
However, the mass disappearance of blue checks that was expected to happen over the weekend failed to materialise, with of course the notable exception of Musk ordering the checkmark for the New York Times removed. Instead, other odd changes such as the replacement of the Twitter bird logo with the Dogecoin “doge” left some wondering if Elon Musk was trying to degrade the Twitter experience for everyone but paying customers.
Twitter users thinking about subscribing
This chart represents the Twitter users visiting the page detailing Twitter Blue pricing and benefits, with traffic tending to increase since Musk’s takeover of Twitter back in October last year and the relaunch of the Twitter Blue program in November of the same year.
Confirmed signups jumped sharply in March
The number of Twitter users signing up for the program on the website jumped sharply in March, after having dropped between January and February. Note that the numbers for November are thrown off by the fact that when the program initially re-launched, users could only enrol through the iOS app. However, once signup over the web was possible, Twitter encouraged it by charging a higher price for app signups to offset app store surcharges.
Twitter finds some users willing to pay
Despite the many celebrities who loudly proclaimed that they would not pay for verification, another subset of Twitter users decided they either didn’t want to lose that status or were willing to pay to get it. Whether there are enough of them to generate significant revenue for the company is another question. Although Twitter is no longer a public company, its monthly revenue from advertising is still estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Even if every one of the about 116,000 signups we estimate Twitter secured in March was for an $84 one-year commitment, that would translate into about $9.8 million. Twitter would have to continue to expand that pool of subscribers and win their continued renewals to make a significant transition away from the ad-supported business model Musk inherited.
David F Carr is the Senior Insights Manager at Similarweb.