Twitter’s new feature shows “half ads” to Blue subscribers

by Ana Lopez

Twitter is rolling out additional features for Blue subscribers, including showing 50% of ads in their timeline compared to non-paid users and improving visibility in search results.

Elon Musk long promised that Twitter Blue subscribers would get a feature to see less sponsored tweets. Now the company has finally rolled out the feature and it will apply to the “Follow” and “For You” timelines.

“As you scroll, you will see about twice as many organic or unpromoted tweets between promoted tweets or ads. There may be times when there are more or fewer unpromoted Tweets among promoted Tweets,” says Twitter’s description of the feature.

The social network has specified that this feature does not apply to ads displayed in the profile or in replies, promoted accounts and trends and promoted events on the Explore page. Twitter also said the half-ads feature won’t take effect until a subscriber’s profile has been reviewed and given the verification mark.

While Twitter claims to be reducing ads on paid subscribers’ feeds, it’s hard to prove whether they’re actually seeing fewer ads beyond anecdotal experience.

Musk last year too said that Twitter was in the process of introducing a more expensive paid tier with no ads.

In addition to the advertising-related feature, the company has also tweaked its priority boosting benefit for Blue subscribers. Earlier, the company said that paid users get priority for answers. Now the feature reads “Prioritized rankings in conversations and search.” The support page for the Blue plan explains that if a paid user interacts with a tweet, they get a “small boost in their ranking”.

Last month, Musk said that starting April 15, Twitter’s algorithmic timeline will only show posts from verified accounts and the people you follow.

A few weeks ago, Twitter rolled out the Blue subscription worldwide. Data shows that despite its widespread availability, Twitter has failed to attract many paid users. Analytics firm SensorTower noted that Twitter had made $11 million from mobile purchases through the end of March. Earlier this week, Compareweb’s data suggested so less than 1% of the social network’s monthly users subscribe to Twitter Blue despite 116,000 registrations in March.


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