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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
29 Apr 2023

NextImg:Media Publishers Could Charge Users Based on Article Click Soon: Elon Musk

Media publishers could charge users based on article click as soon as next month, Twitter Inc. CEO Elon Musk announced on Saturday.

“Rolling out next month, this platform will allow media publishers to charge users on a per article basis with one click,” the billionaire stated in a Twitter post.

The purpose of the new function is to provide a new option for readers who don’t have a monthly subscription to the media but still want to read an article from the media occasionally. Meanwhile, the media can benefit from this plan through some extra revenue.

It will be a “major win-win” for both media outlets and the public, Musk said.

Greg Autry, a professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, applauded Twitter’s new move and said it may help the media get more subscribers.

“Great idea. As a frequent author in publications like Forbes, Foreign Policy, and Ad Astra I’m often frustrated when my work ends up behind a paywall that my followers aren’t willing to subscribe to. This is the right solution and it should help publishers lure in subscribers as well,” he wrote in a reply to Musk’s post.

John Tegland—a verified Twitter user who claims to be a former U.S. Marine Corps pilot—said the new function is the electronic version of buying a single newspaper or magazine.

“I have been wanting that since the first time I clicked on an article that took me to a pay wall,” he wrote.

However, some are worried that the new feature will benefit the publishers only but not the readers as they have to pay to read an article.

Musk took a series of actions to enhance the operation of Twitter including asking verified users, who had blue checks on their Twitter profiles, to pay a monthly fee.

Recently, many of Twitter’s high-profile users lost the blue checks that helped verify their identity and distinguish them from impostors on the social media platform.

After several false starts, Twitter began making good on its promise on April 20 to remove the blue checks from accounts that don’t pay a monthly fee to keep them.

Twitter had about 300,000 verified users under the original blue-check system—many of them journalists, athletes, and public figures. The checks—which used to mean the account was verified by Twitter to be who it says it is—began disappearing from these users’ profiles.

High-profile users who temporarily lost their blue checks included Beyoncé, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey, and former President Donald Trump. However, all of them regained the blue check or a gray one, which Twitter added to indicate a verified institution.

The costs of keeping the marks range from $8 a month for individual web users to a starting price of $1,000 monthly to verify an organization, plus $50 monthly for each affiliate or employee account. Twitter does not verify the individual accounts, as was the case with the previous blue check doled out under the platform’s pre-Musk ownership.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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