Payments, Personas, Provenance

Dateline: Toronto, 8th November 2023.Elon Musk says that Twitter — now known as “X formerly Twitter” to everyone else and “TwiX” to me —  is going to implement a “small monthly payment” for users.  In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said that this strategy represents the only way that he can think of “to combat vast armies of bots”. The strategy may end the bots wars that rage across the Twitterscape but it may also end the social media platform as a place for news, entertainment, learning, revelation and debate as well. Surely there are other options?ShareBlue Man CoupThe Twitter Blue payment strategy doesn’t seem to have delivered. There are some Twitter Blue subscribers, of course. And they have some interesting characteristics. Researcher Travis Brown, who has been tracking these subscribers, says that around half of all the users subscribed to Twitter Blue have fewer than 1,000 followers. That’s approximately 220,132 paying subscribers. Breaking down follower counts even further, there are 2,270 paying Twitter Blue subscribers who have zero followers! Subscribe nowWould making “people” pay for accounts make any difference. No, of course not. The Blue checks that used to be a form of verification became something you paid for and are now often a signal that you’re a troll! Anyway, it is a terrible way to fight spam. That’s probably not Mr. Musk’s real objective thought, it’s probably just to get people’s credit card numbers and get them used to paying for TwiX. Will they though? Perhaps a…Payments, Personas, Provenance