How much would you pay to use social media if you didn’t have to look at ads?
That’s an important question to ask right now.
One report at Engadget theorized that the social media app formerly known as Twitter (now called X) might offer three different subscription “tiers” for those who hate ads. Bloomberg reported that a user of X had sifted some iOS code.
The code appears to reveal three different plans of payment, Basic, Standard, or Plus. No one knew how much the plans would cost. Basic was to show all ads. Standard showed about 50% less ads. And Plus did not display any ads.
Meta continues to ponder the idea of charging Facebook European users a fee per month (possibly as low as $14) in order to circumvent legal concerns related to gathering private data.
My take on all of this: We’re not exactly talking about Netflix here in terms of value. The social media companies are doing a terrible job at providing extras and perks that make a monthly subscription worth it.
Twitter and Facebook’s business models have been based on keeping things as similar as possible. This keeps us scrolling mindlessly.
Here’s what I mean by that:
Introducing new features makes sense for Apple or Samsung when they release new phones, because then we’re more likely to upgrade. New features on social media are counterintuitive. This is the ultimate goal. You can also check out our other blog posts.Introduce something new and novel. It not only makes us interested, but it also pleases advertisers. We may decide to make use of the new features, if there is any real benefit. We might break out of our trance and do something worthwhile and productive, which means we won’t look at the ads as much. It’s supposed to be a slogfest with no real value.
In recent years, I’ve noticed how more and more Facebook ads show up on my feed, likely due to more targeting. Facebook puts me in a category where I am more likely to be exposed to advertisements the minute that I engage with any content. Facebook has fewer friends posting these days. That means more ads. It’s content that counts, not value or purpose.
X, on the other hand, continues to experience a loss of advertisers. It is now looking at ways to improve revenue. It’s getting more and more dire, according to Reuters, because each month since Elon Musk took the helm, advertising have steadily declined.
The only way to make money is by charging for services.
What will it cost? I’m guessing the X Plus subscription plan might cost about $16 per month, or twice the current X Premium charge of $8 per month. It’s unclear what that really means other than not seeing ads, because there are few extra features even available. I’ve mentioned this many times now, but social media apps need to start offering more value and incentives. They might succeed if the apps can offer something that is worth paying for.
I’m guessing that until then most people are going to just accept the advertisements.
We’ve been doing that now for a decade…plus.