If you spend time on Twitter, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Twitter Blue” at some point and wondered what exactly it is. We’re not talking about the signature shade of blue featured in its logo — we’re talking about the premium version of Twitter.
That’s right. There’s a paid tier for Twitter that many people don’t even know exists that launched in July of 2021. And then relaunched again under Elon Musk’s ownership in November 2022. Don’t worry — we’ll explain everything below.
Essentially, Twitter Blue is a paid subscription. Twitter users who choose to pay a monthly fee for it get access to certain extra features and ways to customize their app interface.
Twitter Blue is optional and you certainly don’t need it to enjoy Twitter. Think of it as a paid add-on that is supposed to enhance your Twitter experience.
It initially rolled out in Australia and Canada before launching in the U.S. in November of 2021.
Twitter Blue offers premium features, ways to personalize your app interface, and early access to features that Twitter is working on but hasn’t released to everyone else.
The Twitter Blue blue checkmark badge
The most notable, and frankly controversial, feature that Twitter Blue currently has to offer is its blue checkmark badge. But that doesn’t mean accounts with active Twitter Blue subscriptions have actually been reviewed and verified according to Twitter’s previous standards for verification. In fact, Twitter Blue subscribers who only received their checkmarks as a result of their subscription are not subject to a verification process. The Twitter Blue blue checkmark merely indicates that the account has an active Twitter Blue subscription. This can be confusing because, as of this writing, accounts that were actually verified before this change to Twitter Blue still retain their own checkmarks which are identical to the new Twitter Blue checkmark badge.
Other Twitter Blue features
When it comes to its other features, you can expect to see things like Bookmark folders (a way to organize your bookmarked tweets by placing them in folders), Reader (an enhanced experience for reading tweet threads), Top Articles (a view that prioritizes popular tweets and articles from accounts you follow), and an undo tweet option.
In terms of app interface personalization options, Twitter Blue provides access to custom navigation, custom app icons, and app color themes.
With Twitter Blue, you’ll also have early access to Twitter Blue Labs features (features Twitter is working on but hasn’t officially released yet). Such features can include Edit Tweet (which allows users to edit their tweets), the ability to upload videos in 1080p, the ability to upload videos up to 10 minutes in length, and the ability to add an NFT (non-fungible token) profile picture to your Twitter profile.
One thing to note, however, is that while a Twitter Blue subscription does entitle you to the above features, there are caveats. The first one is that while you do have access to these extra features, not all of them are available on every platform. For example, while the Bookmark folders feature is available on all platforms (iOS, Android, and web), the custom app icons option is only available for iOS and Android, but not on the web. The custom color themes option is only available on iOS.
The second caveat is related to those Twitter Blue Labs features. With a subscription, you’re able to access them, but their availability can “change over time.” That means they can lose their exclusivity (as they are released to all Twitter users) or they can be taken away outright. And like the non-Blue Labs Twitter Blue features, their availability on certain platforms varies.
Upcoming/proposed features after Musk’s acquisition
And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
So far, we’ve discussed the features that should be currently available to Twitter Blue subscribers, at least according to the platform’s own official Help Center guides. But since Elon Musk purchased Twitter in late October 2022, Musk has been indicating (via various tweets) that Twitter Blue will be undergoing a revamp of sorts, with new perks being added to it, the most notable of which was the new blue check badge for Twitter Blue subscribers as we described above. But there are other possible Twitter Blue features to expect based on Musk’s tweets and the current information provided in the Twitter Blue section of the Android app. Here are a few of them:
- Priority replies, mentions, and search (This is listed as “Coming Soon,” at least according to the Android app)
- Fewer ads (50% fewer ads; this perk is also listed as “Coming Soon,” according to the Android app)
- The ability to post longer videos (and possibly audio, according to Musk’s tweet)
- A feature Musk referred to as “paywall bypass” (but that is subject to publishers and whether or not they’d agree to something like that)
Note: It is unclear if the above-proposed features are intended to replace all the features we discussed in previous sections of this article, or if they will simply be added to the features Blue subscribers had been enjoying prior to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. In any case, the features we discussed in the previous sections are still listed as current features in Twitter’s Help Center guide regarding Twitter Blue. And so, we will continue to include them in this guide.
Like any other product, there are cons. There are a couple of drawbacks to the Twitter Blue service you may want to consider.
It’s not ad-free. With regular, free Twitter, there’s an understanding that the free service serves ads while using Twitter. But unfortunately, paying for a Twitter Blue subscription does not give you an ad-free experience. As we mentioned above, Twitter Blue may in the future offer a perk in which subscribers could see 50% fewer ads. But it doesn’t seem to be available yet and even if it were, you’re still seeing ads anyway.
Secondly, Twitter Blue does not offer a free trial. So you can’t test out the service for a few days without paying for it first, and Twitter Blue subscriptions are generally non-refundable — with limited exceptions.
As we mentioned earlier, Twitter Blue was relaunched recently, having undergone a few changes. With this updated Twitter Blue the availability of the subscription service has changed. As of this writing, Twitter Blue (the latest updated version), is only really available on iOS and only “in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K., with plans to expand.”
Additionally, for now, if you have a new Twitter account (that was created on or after November 9, 2022), you won’t be permitted to sign up for Twitter Blue with that account.
The new subscription price for Twitter Blue varies based on your region, but in the U.S. it is $8 per month.
Twitter Blue subscribers who began their subscription before the new Twitter Blue launched, will keep paying either $3 per month or $5 per month until their subscription ends to either make way for an upgrade to the new Twitter Blue or because users have chosen not to upgrade at all or because their subscription was for a platform Twitter Blue no longer supports (Android and web).
Note: Twitter has reportedly recently suspended signups for Twitter Blue. So the following instructions may not work until Twitter Blue signups have been reinstated.
At this time, you can only subscribe to Twitter Blue via iOS.
On iOS: Open the app. Select your Profile icon to open your profile menu. In the menu that appears, select Twitter Blue. On the Twitter Blue screen, look at the Subscribe for button at the bottom of your screen. The button will list the monthly price.
It depends. Casual Twitter users may not see the value in paying for a monthly subscription, as they may not have much use for all of the features offered by it. Super-users or brand accounts may find Twitter Blue’s features to be more useful since they’re on the app more often. Super-users may also enjoy testing out all of the experimental features Twitter Blue Labs has as well.
The Edit Tweet feature might be the most enticing benefit of the service for both casual and super users.
Whether or not you consider Twitter Blue as worth the money is ultimately up to you. But if you only casually use Twitter, you probably don’t need or won’t care enough about Twitter Blue to spend money on it. It’s also worth noting that Twitter is undergoing a lot of turmoil and experiencing a number of struggles. So much so, that it recently suspended signups for Twitter Blue. It may be worth waiting to subscribe to it when things have settled down and the platform’s recent issues have cleared up.
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