Twitter is now rolling out Twitter Blue, a premium service that offers additional website and app functionality to its subscribers. Available in the US and New Zealand, users will pay a monthly price of US $ 2.99 / NZ $ 4.49 and receive several additional features.
One of the new features is ad-free articles. Twitter has partnered with US-based publications such as The Washington Post, LA Times, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, Reuters, The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, Insider, and The Hollywood Reporter.
Clicking on a link from any of these services will open a fast loading, ad-free article page. A portion of your Twitter Blue subscription goes to these posts every time you click on any of their posts.
Subscribers will also have access to the Top Articles feature, which will show them the most shared articles in the last 24 hours on their network. This feature will be available on Android and PC only.
Perhaps the most requested feature on Twitter is an edit button. The new Cancel Tweet feature is sort of based on this idea, but goes about it in a different way. After sending a tweet, you get a timer during which you can cancel sending the tweet if you are not satisfied. Once the allotted time has elapsed, the tweet is automatically sent. Or you can tap Send Now to send it manually.
A new Reader mode has also been added to make it easier to read long tweet threads. Reader mode turns the tweet thread into a long page, similar to the experience offered by some third-party services like Thread Reader.
An option to customize your navigation bar is also available. Currently, the navigation bar has fixed elements including Home, Explore, Notifications, and Messages. Twitter Blue users will be able to remove or rearrange these options and even add more for a total of six. This feature is only available on iOS.
The bookmarks feature has also been updated with support for folders. Users can now create custom folders in bookmarks to sort their saved tweets.
Twitter Blue users on iOS will also get colorful themes and new exclusive app icons.
Finally, Twitter Blue users also get early access to new and experimental features. These features may eventually become available to other users or may be removed altogether. Currently, Twitter Blue users can try out the new 10-minute video limit feature (desktop only) as well as new DM pinned chat options (iOS only).
Overall, that’s a lot of new features that won’t be available to free users. Sadly, Twitter will still be showing ads on the timeline, which is an unfortunate and bizarre move.
It certainly would have made the decision to go premium easier for many users, although it’s possible Twitter will save this for later at an even higher cost. Getting people to pay for a service that they’ve used for free for fifteen years is going to be hard enough, but it’s a good first step.