Elon Musk is mulling whether to place all Twitter content behind a paywall, according to a new report.
While any such change does not appear to be imminent, Musk has recently been turning over the idea of a site subscription fee with one of his advisers, venture capitalist David Sacks, according to a report from tech newsletter Platformer. Lots of questions remain around the potential paywall for the platform, the biggest among them being who will be charged and just how much.
A source familiar with the discussion told Platformer one option includes keeping Twitter free for a certain amount of time each month before charging users a certain amount of money to continue browsing.
A site-wide paywall is only the latest idea Musk is exploring in a bid to generate revenue for the micro-blogging platform, which he formally acquired last month for $44 billion. Twitter in April announced it had agreed to sell to the Tesla Tycoon for $54.20 a share, a deal Musk then repeatedly tried to escape. Despite his best efforts to renege, he took over the site on Oct. 27 and immediately started making moves.
The same day the acquisition was complete, Musk fired top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, legal chief, Vijaya Gadde, and general counsel Sean Edgett. He also removed the company’s board of directors and installed himself as the lone board member. On Friday, Twitter laid off approximately half of its 7,500-member workforce.
Amid the mass firings, Musk tweeted about “a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers.” The 51-year-old billionaire added that he had “no choice” but to cut Twitter staff as the company is losing $4 million a day.
Musk has also outlined several ideas for a new user verification process for Twitter through its subscription service Twitter Blue. For $8 a month, participants will get priority in mentions, replies and search, receive half as many ads, and will be able to tweet long videos and audio.
Changes for the platform were launched for some users on Saturday, but the rollout was later postponed until after the midterm elections.
-By Jessica Schladebeck, New York Daily News