Twitter's new feature will allow publishers to charge users per article

Elon Musk calls it a win for both media organizations and the public.
Ameya Paleja
Twitter HQ in San Francisco
Twitter HQ in San Francisco

Sundry Photography/iStock 

Starting in May, social media platform Twitter will roll out a new feature that will allow media publishers to charge users on a per-article basis instead of having to buy a full subscription. The feature will work using just one click, CEO Elon Musk tweeted.

The move from Twitter is yet another change that Musk is making after shelling out $44 billion for the social media company last year. After laying-off thousands of employees, Musk is keen to change the platform into an everything company and has reportedly even merged it with his X Corp.

While the new identity is yet to take form in the real world, Musk is trying out new things on the platform, such as allowing users to trade in stock and cryptocurrencies and, starting in May, letting publishers charge users based on articles they read.

Move to win back favor with publishers?

Musk's move could also be seen as a way to win back the favor of media organizations after some have left Twitter over labels that the CEO introduced last month. Interesting Engineering reported that NPR stopped sharing content from its 52 official accounts after it was labeled as a "U.S-state-affiliated media" under Twitter's new labels, something the media house vehemently refused.

As with advertisers who deserted the platform when Musk took over, there are fears that media organizations could also leave en masse. However, Twitter hopes to reel them in by offering options such as the ability to charge subscribers for exclusive content and now even charging them on a per-article basis.

Twitter's new feature will allow publishers to charge users per article
Media organizations could soon charge users on per article basis says Twitter CEO

It is not clear how the feature will work with one click and how much cut Twitter plans to take from this service, where readers are likely to pay more for the article. It also remains to be seen if the feature will actually roll out in May, given Musk's over-ambitious deadlines.

With Twitter Blue subscriptions not immensely popular and many celebrities refusing to shell out $8 a month for the verified Blue Tick, Musk-led Twitter is in desperate need of new sources of revenue, even if it is a trickle of individual reads rather than revenue from full subscriptions.

Is it alluring enough to keep media organizations engaged, or are they considering porting to Jack Dorsey's Musk-free look-alike platform BlueSky? All will be revealed in the coming months.

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