Elon Musk, Twitter’s biggest shareholder, has suggested a raft of changes to the social media giant’s Twitter Blue subscription service, including slashing its price, banning advertising and providing an option to pay in cryptocurrency.
The billionaire entrepreneur also started a poll on his Twitter account – which has more than 81 million followers – asking if the company’s San Francisco headquarters should be converted to a homeless shelter as “no-one shows up (to work there)”.
The poll got more 300,000 votes in an hour, with 90 per cent answering yes.
Musk, who has disclosed a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter, was offered a seat on its board of directors, a move which made some Twitter employees panic over the future of its ability to censor content, ban certain content and posters such as ex-president Donald Trump.
Twitter Blue, launched in June 2021, is the outlet’s first subscription service and offers “exclusive access to premium features” on a monthly subscription basis, Twitter says.
It is available in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In a Twitter post, the head of electric vehicle maker Tesla suggested users who sign up for Twitter Blue should pay significantly less than the current $US2.99 ($A4.00) a month, and should get an authentication checkmark as well as an option to pay in local currency.
‘… and no ads’
“Price should probably be $2/month, but paid 12 months up front & account doesn’t get checkmark for 60 days (watch for credit card chargebacks) & suspended with no refund if used for scam/spam,” Musk said in a tweet.
“And no ads,” Musk said.
“The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive.”
Musk also proposed an option to pay with cryptocurrency dogecoin and asked Twitter users for their views.
Twitter declined to comment on Musk’s suggestions.
The company already lets people tip their favourite content creators using bitcoin.
Twitter said last year it planned to support authentication for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are digital assets such as images or videos that exist on a blockchain.