As Twitter relaunched its Twitter Blue subscription on Monday, the company is still figuring out ways to stop the decline of its ad revenue. This is going to be especially important as Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that he wanted “Basic” Blue subscribers to see half the number of ads, with a higher tier with no ads coming next year.
According to a report from Platformer, Twitter estimated that slashing by half the number of ads Twitter Blue subscribers see could cost the company about $6 in ad revenue per user per month. This is quite significant, especially if you take into account the 30% cut Apple takes on subscriptions made via the App Store on iOS. That’s actually why Twitter Blue cost $11 instead of $8 if you subscribe to it on the App Store instead of the web.
Anyway, with Twitter Blue probably not going to become a huge money maker for the company, Platformer is reporting that Twitter is considering pushing personalized ads to all users. Ads would be personalized by default for all new users, and existing users would also be pushed to opt in to personalized to keep using Twitter. Worse, Twitter would also require all of its users to share their location to improve ad targeting.
“Once users have agreed, they won’t ever be able to opt out, sources said. Plans are not yet final and require Elon Musk’s approval to move forward, sources said. If the company moves ahead, it plans to begin with 1 percent of users in the United States and gauge their reaction before proceeding further,” the report reads.
There’s only one problem with this plan: Apple’s App Store rules currently prevent app developers from requiring users to enable ad tracking in order to use their apps. Apple also wouldn’t allow Twitter to make Twitter Blue the only way to opt out of personalized ads on the Twitter app for iOS.
All in all, going forward with this plan could be very risky for Twitter, especially after the company has already eroded the trust of its users, advertisers, and employees. According to a separate report from the New York Times, Twitter also stopped paying rent for its San Francisco headquarters and other offices weeks ago, and it’s also considering not paying severance pay to the thousands of employees it recently laid off.