Elon Musk says Twitter will let media outlets charge users per article view

Twitter chief Elon Musk said the microblogging platform will allow media organisations to charge users to access their stories on a “per article” basis starting from May.

“Rolling out next month, this platform will allow media publishers to charge users on a per article basis with one click,” Mr Musk tweeted on Friday.

The Telsa and SpaceX chief claimed the upcoming “one-click” service would be “a major win-win” for both media organisations and the public.

“This enables users who would not sign up for a monthly subscription to pay a higher per article price for when they want to read an occasional article,” he tweeted.

It remains unclear what fraction of each transaction from users accessing articles will go to Twitter.

Twitter has also not officially mentioned what conditions apply to media publishers charging users for access to their content.

The idea has attracted criticism from some Twitter users.

“This is the stupidest idea he’s had in like a week,” said one user.

“Who is giving him these dogs*** ideas?” wrote another user.

“Wow, paying a higher price for occasional articles? What a steal! I can't wait to empty my pockets for this inconvenience,” tweeted another.

“I’m not paying to read any story. This will only create heroes that will pay for it, copy and paste it, and then tweet it out for all to see. Free of charge,” said another user.

The latest move comes as the microblogging platform continues to attempt to boost revenues since Mr Musk’s takeover.

Under his leadership, the company slashed over half its workforce along with sweeping content moderation policies that have led to several of the platform’s top advertisers withdrawing from the microblogging site.

In March, the Tesla chief valued Twitter at around $20bn, less than half the $44bn he paid to acquire the company in April 2022.

The company has tried several approaches to boost revenue and cut costs further, including relaxing some of its policies that ban political advertisements and adding a more expensive ad-free subscription option to the platform.

The company controversially monetised its user verification process, charging people $8 each month for “blue tick” badges.

Twitter also shut down some of its offices and auctioned off some of its office properties, including pricey furniture and its iconic blue bird statue.

It resorted to try selling office plants to staff to raise money as well, an anonymous employee said in March.

The tech giant announced last month that it was planning to charge companies from $42,000 to as much as $210,000 per month for access to its API.

Among the assortment of moves taken to boost revenue, the Twitter Blue subscription doesn’t seem to be doing well. Reports suggest only a small fraction of the platform’s users are paying to use the service.

Twitter’s latest pay-per-article announcement also comes as the social media company attempts to lure more content creators onto the platform that is seeing the rise of new competitors such as BlueSky and Mastodon.