Twitter will always remain free for “casual users” but government and commercial users may see a “slight cost” to stay on the social media platform, the company’s would-be owner Elon Musk said in a tweet Tuesday.
Musk, whose bid to purchase Twitter for $44 billion and take the company private was accepted by Twitter’s board last week, pitched bankers on the idea of new business models for the service during conversations last month to line up financing for the deal. The social network currently makes the bulk of its revenue from advertising.
The company recently tried to expand into other areas, including subscriptions, though that business line is still very small. Twitter executives had discussed various subscription products for years before the company last summer unveiled its $2.99 monthly subscription service, called Twitter Blue.
But Twitter Blue is targeted toward the service’s most dedicated users and not business or government accounts, though some aspects of the Twitter Blue service — like the ability to post longer videos — might appeal primarily to commercial accounts. Twitter already sells other products targeted at commercial users, including access to the Twitter API for businesses interested in marketing or brand analysis.
Musk has told potential investors that he could return Twitter to the public markets as soon as three years after buying it, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.