What Elon Musk is trying to do with Twitter and what people actually want

Nickel and dime us to death.

That seems to be Elon Musk’s strategy lately, rather than convincing us that Twitter has enough value to actually pay for some of the services.

A recent change is to put TweetDeck behind a paywall. You have to sign up for Twitter Blue (basically a vanity service) and pay a monthly fee to start using it after about 30 days. The company is also discontinuing the classic version.

Recently, access restrictions have also come into effect, apparently intended as a solution to server problems. Again, the famous billionaire is on the safe side because he doesn’t want to pay exorbitant fees to keep Twitter running for everyone without restrictions.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen this before with companies that appear to be going under.

One example that ironically comes to mind is electric car chargers. In my area, a downtown charger used to be free and could be used while shopping. One would think the city would have started charging for the plug-in because it was widely used. The opposite is true. Nobody ever uses it (except me), so the city started charging a fee for the power supply.

The same goes for Twitter too. You’d think the company would come up with entirely new features and lure in new users, but instead they’re turning to other apps in droves, and as the numbers drop, the only way to keep the lights going is by charging for features to charge, which were normally free.

In my car analogy this is called cut out. For years, a charger was always free because it was supposed to encourage people to stay and shop. However, since nobody uses it, the business model was switched to a paid business model. If someone bothers to use it, the city can at least get some of the money back somehow, since it must have cost a hefty sum to install.

Gouging is about exploiting your current users, the ones who have always been there, and you start charging them extra for being loyal. I’m one of those idiots. I paid for Twitter Blue again because I wanted to do some longer posts for my book on productivity, but now I’m reconsidering the fee.

The problem with gouging and other business “gotchas” is that eventually customers find out. Oh, I’m just a guinea pig for a failing company squeezing out some revenue while it still can since no new customers are signing up for the service. Why should they? Like someone contemplating an electric car, the business model that suggests you have to pay even more money to use a new product doesn’t exactly motivate you to join everyone else.

What do users really want? New properties. Novel Ideas. New momentum, a sense that this is leading to a goal that other social media apps have never achieved before. Do something new and innovative. That gives us a reason to pay for innovation.

It’s about time Musk started acting like an entrepreneur again. Give users what they want – something for free useful. If there’s enough value and benefit over the long term, we’ll happily pay for it.

Otherwise we just feel like we’re being taken advantage of.

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