Twitter was in the news practically every day in the second half of last year. The controversy, which began in April 2022, has now resulted in various changes to the social media site, including the introduction of the membership model. Despite receiving some backlash for the controversial takeover, Elon Musk now holds the distinction of being the first to introduce Twitter Blue to users.
So, what exactly is Twitter Blue, and how does it affect users? “Twitter Blue is an opt-in, paid subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account and enables early access to select features, such as Edit Tweet,” according to Twitter’s blog page. Twitter Blue also allows users to upload films for up to 60 minutes in length.
As a result, a new section dubbed Twitter Blue for Business has been introduced to a select few firms for the time being. “As a Twitter Blue for Business member, a firm can link any number of affiliated persons, businesses, and brands to their account. When they do, associated accounts will receive a little badge with their parent company’s profile image next to their blue or gold checkmark,” according to the Twitter page.
This could imply that businesses and brands can create a community, possibly even post about paid collaborations using these badges, and much more. However, it is yet unknown what the price range for this functionality would be. But, in any case, the key concern is how it affects businesses and advertisers. What can brands do once this functionality is available to make the most of it? Experts expressed their thoughts on this new feature and its utility for brands.
Impact For Brands
“Twitter Blue for Business is a good idea,” says Hareesh Tibrewala, Joint CEO of Mirum India. It lends credibility to the brands’ Twitter handles. And it assures that the content that the user is consuming is genuine. Because it is so easy to set up spoof accounts or accounts with misleadingly similar names on Twitter, Twitter for Business is a good concept. The question is how Twitter will authenticate the legitimacy of the handle after several businesses start using it. Manually authenticating each and every request will take time.”
Shares thoughts on how Twitter Blue’s audience segmentation tools could assist marketers. “Twitter is definitely seeking to open up new income models to support the business,” says Kosal Malladi, Vice President, Madison Loop. Blue tick was a vanity metric; Twitter Blue is democratising the vanity metre. The implication of making any vanity statistic accessible is that its vanity worth diminishes over time. As a result, Twitter is providing more functionality to Twitter Blue users, transforming it into a subscription/premium offering. Twitter Blue of Business is a related initiative. The full scope of this is yet to be exposed.”
According to Malladi, another advantage for Twitter would be audience segmentation. “Now, Twitter will have one additional channel to identify viewer behaviour. And this gives up a plethora of opportunities for advertisers.”
However, Malladi cautions marketers because the functionality is new and the Indian audience for it is small. “Any platform will require time to develop audience intelligence and, as a result, deliver outcomes.”
Sabiha Khan, Dentsu Creative India’s Head of Strategy-Digital Experience, explained how the blue tick will aid businesses with authenticity. “Twitter Blue for Business might truly help businesses, especially those with a collective presence, albeit it remains to be seen how it gets carried out. Many organisations struggle with deciding whether to use one handle or numerous handles based on geography or product line, and this badge appears to be an intriguing approach to assist build connection and authenticity. Of course, the support for lengthier films is something that brands will appreciate. Prioritization of tweets may also aid in response management.”
Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and Angel Investor, has reservations about the functionality but believes the blue tick would help firms locate a specific audience. “Twitter Blue users will be yearning for the blue tick symbol of approval. I’m not sure how beneficial brand custodians will find these users until they reach a critical mass. Given that they are paid, ‘premium’ customers, businesses may like to prioritise them for more premium products in the future, similar to how television ads exploited HD channel feeds to target more niche premium consumers.”
Elara Capital’s Karan Taurani believes Twitter Blue might help businesses vary their client targeting. “You will see a lot more reverse marketing and partnership-led kind of activities happening on Twitter as well, which was formerly limited only to Instagram. There is also a lot of genuine corporate activity on networks like Twitter. So, I believe there is a strong possibility for a lot of growth coming in from that business side if there is stability in the main norms, in terms of the tick mark, in terms of how the partnerships are to be done.”
Taurani also feels that the subscription model will benefit both Twitter and the firms that advertise on the platform. “I believe this place will be used more for formal announcements, ranging from actors and celebrities to other more important announcements and partnerships.”