Twitter is trying another way to boost Twitter Blue subscriptions. This time, Twitter is limiting how many DMs non-subscribers can send daily.
As Twitter notes, the main impulsion for the move is to combat DM spam.
It is also the key driver behind its recent update, which defaults all users to a new setting where only verified users can send DM requests to non-followers.
If you see fewer DMs, that would be why and with the focus. Ostensibly, it is on reducing unwanted messages from clogging your inbox.
But a side benefit for Twitter is that it could push more people to sign-up for Twitter Blue. Although, the lack of communication around the change should have probably lessened this, as most users probably don’t even know that the new default setting has already been implemented.
And now, non-Blue subscribers will also be restricted in how many DMs they can send daily.
It probably won’t have a huge impact on most users. Meaning Twitter has not detailed exactly how many messages you can send, but if you are sending out more than 10 or 20, you are likely verging into spam territory anyway.
But then again, several journalists use DMs as an outreach tool for stories and implementing restrictions could make it harder in this respect.
It is unlikely to prompt many of them to sign up for Twitter Blue. Given the fact that Twitter owner Elon Musk’s repeated attacks on ‘mainstream media,’ and journalists in particular, as being untrustworthy, corrupt, and worse.
It may end up being a key element that backfires on Musk and his efforts to build Twitter into a billion-user ‘everything app.’
Journalists have long been among the most prominent users of the app. The app has greatly helped them boost its relevance as a key news and information source.
But the more Musk works to alienate this segment of its user base, the more actively they seek alternatives.
It is why the recent influx of sign-ups for Meta’s alternative Threads app was significant.
Among the most active Threaders in its early stages are journalists who have had enough of Musk’s selective view of truth and are keen to build somewhere else.
Threads could be a big threat because several influential voices want it to work and actively and externally support the new platform.
Where do you think those news consumers will be going if they keep sharing all their exclusive content there and promote it to their large audiences?
In this sense, implementing DM restrictions will depend on how far they can go and could backfire on Twitter, as all these questions will go against driving more Blue sign-ups.
It remains a failing proposition. Around 0.3% of Twitter users currently pay $8 monthly for a blue tick and the other assorted Blue features.
It is hard to see how Musk and Co. will be able to boost that to a viable enough number for Twitter Blue to reach its stated goals of combating spam by differentiating real people in the app.
But Musk and his team continue to push the offering, hoping to make it a ‘solution.’ But this was increasingly a high-minded vision that would not work in reality.
DM restrictions may help, and they may also help to combat spam. But the side effects could be worse than the cure in this respect.
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