Nigerians Have Reacted To The Twitter Blue Access.
04:20 PM WAT, Thu March 16, 2023
Nigerians Twitter users popularly called tweeps can now access Elon Musk's Twitter Blue tick for ₦5,000 per month.
This comes after the Twitter Blue subscription service has been available in over 30 countries. Twitter is offering Nigerian users a 12% discount if they choose the annual subscription, but the prices for the subscription, based on device, are not uniform. Those who subscribe on their iOS and Android devices will pay the flat rate of ₦5,000, while those who subscribe for the web service will pay ₦3,650.
However, Twitter Blue offers tweeps two things: the option to draw attention to their accounts by adding a blue or gold (mainly for businesses) checkmark, and access to exclusive features such as the edit tweet and undo tweet feature, upload longer videos, among others.
A section of Nigerians believe that Twitter Blue does have extended features, but the pricing is a bit of a luxury for the West African country that boasts of an estimated 216.7 million people.
"Although Twitter Blue offers some interesting benefits such as the edit button feature and longer video upload, I'm not sure it is worth the monthly subscription cost of ₦5,000 for most Nigerian Twitter users. It may be more appealing to power users or those who rely on Twitter for business purposes," Olanrewaju Alaka, a Brand Expert told Access24.
"However, for the average Nigerian Twitter user, it may not be worth the cost, especially when there are other free alternatives available," he added.
As for whether Nigerians can afford it, Alaka said, "It depends on the individual's financial situation and priorities. While there may be some who are willing to pay for the extra features, there may be others who prefer to save their money for other necessities. Additionally, the cost of ₦5,000 per month may not seem like much to some Nigerians, considering the high fees they may pay on the black market for certain services. Overall, it will depend on each person's circumstances and priorities."
Comms and Strategy Expert, Daniel Oladoja, told Access24 that Twitter Blue will fuel elitism in the country and its use is not applicable to many Nigerian users.
"This development has elitism written all over it. The question here is, what does an average Nigerian do on Twitter? There are things that are good to have and things that you must have. Most of the extra features that come with the tick are out of the imperative list of an average Nigerian youth," he said. "Demographically speaking, the largest user block for Twitter are young people who probably earn a little more than ₦60,000 monthly."
Oladoja added that the Twitter Blue tick might end up being like LinkedIn Premium 'nice to have but not a necessity.'
Lagos-based journalist, David Taylor, said the development is good for those who need Twitter Blue and the benefits that come with it.
"It is a good development. At least those who crave the blue can get it if they can afford the ₦60,000 in a year," he said. "But in a country where over 100 million are in poverty, many might see parting with ₦60,000 a year as a big deal."
Others expressed mixed reactions to Twitter Blue, with some excited about the new features they will get access to and other Nigerian tweeps not finding it useful enough to subscribe.
The social networking platform has an estimated three million Nigerian users, and to these users, Twitter has become a pivotal space to hold the political and social discourse, and spearheading change.
Launched in June 2021, initially in Canada and Australia, before expanding to the U.S. and New Zealand that November, Twitter Blue was developed to help the social networking platform diversify its revenue and reduce its dependence on advertisers.
The initial blue ticks were designed to delineate noteworthy users and organizations. A blue tick account was likely someone who had important, valuable, and authoritative things to say.
Now, it has become just for anyone who can pay for it, and with Twitter looking to increase the reach of tweets from Blue accounts, that also means that the social networking platform is highly becoming a space for 'you pay, you play higher' for regular users, with the blue ticks becoming more meaningless from a practical perspective to tons of users.