Relaunched Twitter Blue only made $11 million on mobile in its first 3 months

Legacy Twitter checkmarks are disappearing on April 1, Twitter says, and going forward, the only way users can earn the coveted blue badge is to pay for a Twitter Blue subscription. This raises a big question for Twitter and its owner, Elon Musk: will this nail-bit finally lead to greater adoption of the social network’s premium tier?

So far the turnout has been quite disappointing. Since relaunching three months ago as a strong push toward non-advertising revenue, Twitter Blue has garnered just $11 million from mobile subscriptions, according to data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

The $11 million figure is remarkable because Twitter is banking on Twitter Blue at a time when advertising — which traditionally accounts for the vast majority of Twitter’s revenue — continues to decline rapidly.

This decline is partly due to the overall economy, which has lowered marketing spend. But advertisers have also been reluctant to re-engage with Twitter amid its rapid changes, chaotic missteps and threats to general brand safety as Elon Musk rolled back previous protections. Twitter has since tried to mend some of those relationships, including through partnerships with ad tech companies DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science (IAS), for example, but it’s not yet clear how much revenue has improved in result.

Although $11 million is a small number, we must caution that this estimate does not cover online subscriptions. The company also cannot determine who pays for annual or monthly Blue subscriptions. The figures cover the 20 markets where Blue launched before this week. It was only yesterday that Twitter made the service available worldwide.

In information shared with TechCrunch, Sensor Tower estimates that Blue has over 385,000 mobile subscribers globally across iOS and Android. The United States is its biggest market, with 246,000 subscribers spending around $8 million through their mobile devices.

“The loss in advertising demand, fueled by both broader macroeconomic uncertainty and Twitter-specific platform issues, has made alternative revenue streams very attractive to the social media network,” Abe Yousef said. , senior analyst at Sensor Tower.

Twitter’s total user count is currently unclear, but in the second quarter of last year it reported that it had nearly 238 million monetizable daily active users (its own metric).

According to multiple reports, the company has been bleeding advertisers since Musk acquired Twitter and took over as CEO. A report earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal said earnings, dated December 2022, that Twitter shared with investors noted a 40% decline in revenue. Twitter had adjusted its earnings because of this. To put Twitter Blue’s $11 million in mobile subscriptions into revenue context, for comparison, in the second quarter of 2022, the last quarterly earnings statement released by Twitter (while still a publicly traded company ), the ad accounted for all but $100,000 of Twitter’s nearly $1.2 billion in revenue.

There are also questions about the recurrence of this $11 million over the next few months. Yousef told us that Sensor Tower believes annual subscriptions will be a “minimal” proportion of the $11 million.

“Social media users are generally less likely to spend more than $100 at one time versus $11 for 1-2 months to try out the service and see if they like using it,” he pointed out.

Some are already not so impressed

Twitter Blue originally launched in limited markets in 2021 as a service for power users, with benefits that might have only been important to this group – bookmarking, ability to “redo” a Tweet, ad-free reading of news articles, and early access to experiments through Twitter Labs among them.

But under Musk, Blue has put a different emphasis: It’s part of his strategy to rebuild the company’s revenue model. As such, the features — both the live ones and the ones Twitter promises to come — feel more central to the mainstream Twitter experience.

In addition to badges, Blue users can edit tweets, upload larger videos, have a “player” view for longer threads, and more. It also promises (but has yet to launch) fewer ads and more visibility for Blue users in replies.

Subscriptions are sold for $11 per month (or local equivalent) on iOS and Android, and $8 on the web. (The higher mobile price is due to reduced app stores).

US Twitter users on mobile devices spent nearly $1.8 million on Twitter Blue subscriptions in its first month after relaunching in December, according to the new data. That suggests the service received more than 160,000 mobile subscribers in the country in its first month of relaunch, Yousef said.

But the company has work to do when it comes to driving business in its strongest markets. In India, the company’s second-largest market by users after the United States, Twitter launched Blue in February. Since then, Sensor Tower says only $301,000 has been spent on Blue, or about 17,000 mobile subscriptions.

Yousef said India became Twitter’s sixth-largest mobile market by in-app purchases following the local launch of Twitter Blue. The country was Twitter’s eighth largest mobile market for in-app purchases nearly ten months before the company’s acquisition and subsequent launch and relaunch of Twitter Blue, the analyst said.

Sensor Tower data is based on in-app purchases from Twitter’s mobile apps. The company has other in-app purchases besides Twitter Blue. However, Yousef said that given the substantial increases examined in revenue from in-app purchases following the relaunch of Twitter Blue, you can attribute most of that revenue to the subscription product, with boosted tweets and other purchases. built-ins providing very few built-in applications. purchase income.

We reached out to Twitter for a response to those numbers. We did not receive a response.


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