X tests three paid subscription tiers amid ongoing financial woes

Details are scant, but it looks like this will determine how many ads you see.

Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema

The rumor that X, formerly known as Twitter, is going to integrate more paid services continues to persist, with Bloomberg reporting that the company’s testing a trio of subscription tiers to help solve its financial woes. Details are scant, but it looks like these paid subscription options will impact the number of ads you see when using the platform.

A developer and leaker with the X handle @aaronp613 dived into the source code of the app’s most recent iOS update and discovered some information on these proposed subscription tiers, though the information has been trickling out for the past week. It looks like it’ll break down into Basic, Standard and Plus, as indicated by the Bloomberg report. Basic users will continue to see the regular amount of ads, labeled or not, while standard users will see half of the ads, which is equivalent to a current perk exclusive to the folks who plunk down $8 each month for a blue check. Plus users will see no ads whatsoever, providing them unfettered access to whatever conspiracy theory is snaking around the Internet on any given day.

We don't have any idea how much these tiers would cost. Meta's reportedly making a similar move in Europe, as it could charge users up to $17 each month for an ad-free experience on Instagram and Facebook.

Other than the ad stuff, which hasn’t been confirmed by the company, nobody knows what additional perks these subscription tiers would provide paying users. It also remains to be seen if this indicates a push toward mandatory subscriptions to use the service. However, with the paid basic plan reportedly displaying the current level of ads, it’s hard to see what a free account would experience. Twice the ads? Three times the ads? Elon Musk coming to your home to blame the company’s financial decline on the Anti-Defamation League? It’s anybody’s guess, though the rumor that X was going full on pay-to-play comes from an off-hand comment made by Musk during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

So it doesn’t look like this is part of any move to force people to pay for the service but it does look like Twitter/X is continuing to throw monetization ideas at the wall to see what sticks as part of its overarching plan to become the “everything app.” It’s hard to imagine that a reduction in the frequency in ads would be enough to entice many users to send a monthly stipend to one of the world’s richest men, so let’s wait and see what other perks the team cooks up for the three proposed subscription tiers.

As for the company’s financials, Bloomberg reports that CEO Linda Yaccarino recently told bank lenders that advertisers have been returning to the platform, albeit with reduced budgets. On the other hand, Reuters just reported that X’s US ad revenue has plummeted each and every month since Musk’s acquisition, with the latest figures showing a 60% year-over-year decline as of August.