Elon Musk Wants To Start Charging Government, Corporations For Using Twitter
Elon Musk has been having discussions with Twitter about changes to the platform. One suggestion he’s had is charging corporations and governments for their Twitter use.
“Ultimately, the downfall of the Freemasons was giving away their stonecutting services for nothing,” tweeted Musk. “Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users.”
Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022
However, his plan to monetize Twitter is still unknown. Elon Musk’s idea that tweets should be attached with a price tag does make sense, in light of the fact that many people want of use Twitter freely without having any intention to pay for it.
Well, these ideas seem like they might be grand but come with a lot of potential problems. Charging to either a) quote or b) embed tweets, a) would be in violation of the first amendment because it prevents free speech and b) would introduce all sorts of administrative headaches; it’s tricky if Musk wants to reduce Twitter’s headcount. Mike Masnick from TechDirt discussed these issues in his article here.
It is easier for governments and corporations to pay to tweet, but doing so will not provide a sustainable source of revenue. The Coca-Cola Company might pay the same rate as a small brewery, which would be unfair. There are many questions to answer when implementing this program: How much should they pay? What should they pay based? Questions like these must be addressed immediately, or else Twitter will lose value because it has no means of making profits.
Elon Musk is speculated to be considering bidding for Twitter. At this point, it’s unclear what his plan is. But this gives us some insight into his general mode of operation- he hates formalized business plans and prefers doing things according to instinct. We’ll just have to see what happens next in regards to Twitter.