Twiteer CEO Elon Musk is a worried man it seems. He seems to be warned of Twitter bankruptcy with more senior executives having left the blue bird. Added to that is the realisation that according to a notification by Twitter Blue, the blue tick service might actually cost Rs 719 per month in India (i.e. $8.90, higher than $8 which equals Rs 646.68). With over 25 million users in India, the country accounts to the the third-largest share of active Twitter users after the US and Japan. For a country where people think twice before spending their money, this blue tick might prove to be an expensive affair for Musk.
Meanwhile, this is not the only concerning news regarding Indian Twitter as the company’s India division also reported Rs 32 crore in losses for the financial year 2021-2022.
What is the whole Twitter Blue controversy? One of the latest features of post-Musk Twitter include Twitter Blue, a service launched in the US, UK, and other countries at a monthly rate of $7.99 (or $8 if you round it off). Everyone who avails this service can receive their blue tick without any more added charges.
Rollout of new verified Blue is intentionally limited just to iOS in a few countries with very little promotion.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 10, 2022
As we iron out issues, we will expand worldwide on all platforms.
While no official announcement has come from Twitter India, several Indian users have received the prompt to install Twitter Blue and going by this prompt, the monthly plan costs Rs 719. It is also mentioned that the service would be offered to iPhone users first in India and can start from November 10 (yesterday).
Far too many corrupt legacy Blue “verification” checkmarks exist, so no choice but to remove legacy Blue in coming months— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 10, 2022
Why is Twitter Blue higher than $8 in India? According to Musk’s earlier tweets explaining his $8 rule, he did mention how the price for a blue tick might vary across the globe depending upon the country’s purchasing power. Going by this announcement, laypersons and economics pundits actually predicted the price to be way lower than $8 but alas, they might be wrong.
Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
How are Indians reacting to the news? If Indian users would indeed pay Rs 719 per month, then they would spend a yearly amount of Rs 8,628. Naturally, many Indian Twitter users are expressing their disappointment with some even suggesting that Musk should lower the price to a mere Rs 150-200 for Indians!
719 Rs for Twitter Blue in India per month.— Stockflix (@stockflixx) November 10, 2022
If a tick is this expensive,how much is he going to charge us to take us to Mars🙄🙄
Some argue that as blue ticks were mainly reserved for influential figures, then Rs 719 wouldn’t be a big amount for such influencers and celebrities. But then that would defeat Musk’s vision of making Twitter a more democratic and egalitarian space (at least in India).
Everything that is cheaper than Twitter Blue: Others have also pointed out that subscription to OTT platforms is a way more cost-efficient option as compared to paying for Twitter Blue. Currently, Netflix India’s mobile streaming plans start at Rs 149 and even a Rs 649 plan allows for high definition streaming on as many as 4 screens. Amazon Prime and Disney+ Hotstar can similarly be availed at a yearly cost of Rs 1499.
Even music streaming is cheaper with Spotify Premium’s monthly plan amounting to Rs 149, YouTube Music Premium priced at Rs 149, and Apple Music for Rs 99.
Twitter India faces losses: A consensus is yet to be attained but this move might prompt a lot of Indians to not pay for Twitter’s exclusive services (unless some lucrative add-ons are provided like Netflix and Hotstar). This might spell disaster for a company that is already struggling financially, given the numbers from FY 2021-2022
In the given financial year which ended this March, Twitter India has reported losses of Rs 32 crore (according to documents sourced by business intelligence outlet Tofler). This new reveal comes in the wake of Twitter firing 160 employees in India (amid mass firings worldwide).
While the exact reasons are unspecified, it is concerning to note that the employee expenses have witnessed an unprecedented jump from Rs 43.25 crore in 2020-2021 to Rs 136.81 crore in this fiscal year. In other words, this is a three-fold increase!
On the other hand, Twitter India’s revenue increased by 82% to Rs 156.75 crore in FY22 as compared to Rs 86.36 crore in the year before.
Still, with the current losses and the overpriced blue tick plan, Twitter India must gear up for quite some challenges in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, on Twitter: With the numerous changes that are rolling out, it is being observed that some verified accounts can't revert back to their original name if they changed their name in the past few days. Stuck by the festive spirit, rapper Doja Cat changed her name to "christmas" and was stuck with the Twitter handled! “How do I change it also f**k you Elon.” read one of her tweets while Musk told her that he's working on it.
Working on it!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 10, 2022
Apparently, Musk did work on it as now Doja Cat has changed her name to "fart". Just another day on Twitter!