If Elon Musk had to do it all over again, he might not have decided to spend $43 billion on Twitter as the social media platform, now known as “X,” has become a money pit. Oh, Musk isn’t short of big ideas for “X” including turning it into a super app like China’s WeChat and allowing it to handle mobile payments, messaging, instant messaging, and social media. Another plan that was recently discussed would turn “X” into a dating app.
Musk is desperate to improve X’s cash flow
If you get the feeling that Musk is desperate to get some positive cash flow out of his purchase, you’d be right. While some of the advertisers that left “X” in droves when it became clear that Elon had no real business plan for it did come back, Musk has been looking at sources to raise cash since he first took over Twitter more than a year ago. The verification check mess was always about raising money and recently Musk rolled out “X Premium.”
The all-time best Twitter/X handle belongs to Nothing’s CEO Carl Pei
Some of the features that subscribers to “X Premium” are getting are things that might have been free at another time. Posts can now be as long as 25,000 characters, up from 280. Paid subscribers have 60 minutes to edit a post which can also be formatted. Premium subscribers can also post videos of up to 3 hours in length and up to 8GB in size at 1080p. “X Premium” has three tiers of service:
- Basic-$3 per month or $32 per year. Receives a small boost to replies.
- Premium-$8 per month or $84 per year. Receives a large boost to replies.
- Premium+-$16 per month or $168 per year. Receives the largest boost to replies.
The higher the tier you subscribe to, the fewer the number of ads you will see.
This is the greatest Twitter/X handle in history, at least in my opinion
The plan to sell discarded handles has been around for about a year. In November 2022, Musk posted on his social media site that a large number of handles had been taken by bots and trolls and Musk said that he would free them up the next month. An “X” user suggested a handle marketplace where buyers and sellers could arrange to sell discarded “X” and Twitter handles for an agreed on price with Musk’s firm getting a commission. Last January, The New York Times reported that Musk planned to free up 1.5 billion handles.
In the “X” Help Center, under the heading, “Can I get an inactive username?,” the response says, “Unfortunately, we cannot release inactive usernames at this time.” This would seem to indicate that the handle marketplace is still a work in progress. If you don’t want your “X” username to be considered discarded, you need to sign in every 30 days. Even though there are no plans to disseminate unused handles at the moment, Musk has a habit of yelling “Fire, Shoot, Aim” so you never know what he might decide to do and when he will do it.