Twitter users have speculated for months—nay, years—over whether the site would ever offer a subscription tier with added perks. Today, it announced it is officially launching its “first-ever subscription offering,” which is totally awesome. Except that it isn’t.
The social media giant is now giving its users the option to pay $2.99 a month ($3.49 for Canadian users, and $4.49 for those in Australia) for some extra features. But honestly, it isn’t giving users much of anything. And no, for those wondering, free Twitter isn’t going anywhere.
Subscription-tier users get Bookmark Folders for better organizing saved Tweets; Reader Mode, which “provides a more beautiful reading experience” by making long threads easier to read; access to dedicated subscription customer support; colorful app themes; customizable app icons for their device’s home screen; and the long-awaited Undo Tweet feature that’ll give you up to 30 seconds to click Undo and fix typos before it posts.
I wouldn’t necessarily even be content with these features if they were free—given the scope of the site and what it offers, more powerful options like these should already be in play (and at no additional cost). A 30-second Undo button? You have unlimited seconds to proofread your Tweets before you hit send (and you can always install a grammar checking app); on the other hand, Twitter, much like texting your mom or your uncle, is kind of all about typos. Keeping a better reading experience behind a paywall is just rude and suggests Twitter could have been more user-friendly all along. And paying for colorful themes? Come on, that’s just … kind of useless.
If you’re forking over your money to Twitter’s subscription service, your dollar should go a little further. For instance, it could remove annoying ads and sponsored posts; paying for a service and still having to see ads is insulting. Other services remove ads from their paid tiers. Many of the third-party Twitter apps and Chrome extensions out there, like Better TweetDeck, have been offering more robust customization features for years.
Twitter Blue will be available first to users in Australia and Canada, but will roll out to users in the United States later in 2021. It might be right for some users, but if you’re looking for more features, you might want to consider just using a third-party Twitter app. Some of them are free or available for a low one-time cost.