Twitter is clearly under heavy financial pressure.
In the week since Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion, the social media giant has been trying to find ways to cut costs and boost revenue. Musk reportedly told investors he plans to eliminate 3,700 jobs at Twitter Inc., which is about half of the company’s workforce. He’s also announced potential changes to the Twitter Blue subscription service, including the addition of an $8-per-month fee for the highly coveted “verified” badge.
However, the cost-saving ideas don’t end there. According to the New York Times, the company is also working on a paid direct messaging feature focused on “Very Important Tweeters.” Sources “with knowledge of the matter” say the platform could soon charge users to send direct messages to high-profile figures, including celebrities and professional athletes.
Internal documents reviewed by the Times state Twitter points to an early prototype in which a user is shown asking Post Maline about his favorite records. The message would appear in a special box designated for paid DMs. The company did not provide the exact cost of each VIT message, but said it could be “as little as a few dollars.”
There’s no guarantee that paid DMs will ever get a proper roll out, and it remains unclear if the idea was conceived prior to Musk’s acquisition.
The report came a day before Musk highlighted Twitter’s financial woes. The billionaire tech mogul said the company has seen a “massive drop in revenue” as a growing number of advertisers have left the platform or paused spending. Companies like Pfizer, General Motors, and Audi have pulled their ads from Twitter, amid concerns over content moderation.