Twitter boss Elon Musk just announced that the social media platform will let media publishers charge users per article read. But, are people ready to pay for news content on Twitter? We asked UAE readers who use Twitter.
On Saturday, Musk tweeted that starting in May, media publishers will be able to charge users on a per-article basis/video with one click, calling it a win for both the public and media organisations.
The billionaire had tweeted that the feature will enable users who do not “sign up for a monthly subscription to pay a higher per article price for when they want to read an occasional article”.
On Friday, Musk also said that after the first year, Twitter will start taking a 10 per cent cut on content subscriptions including long-form text and hour/s-long video.
When we asked readers if they would pay for news and video content on Twitter, most of them said “no”.
Information is available freely
“I get my daily news updates on email, and I do use Twitter, but I would not pay for news or video content on Twitter,” said Indian expatriate, Pamela Nazareth.
... eventually, the information will be available for free somewhere else, as long as you are willing to wait for a few days.
“I would still not pay because I am the kind of person who does not pay for content in general. Also, eventually, the information will be available for free somewhere else, as long as you are willing to wait for a few days. Even if it is breaking news, it will come out on other platforms. Also, I am not making stock market decisions or investment decisions based on the news. If I was in that position, I would perhaps be willing to pay for this service,” added the 37-year-old marketing director at a Dubai-based events company in the oil and gas sector.
Another Dubai expatriate, Sheryl Dwyer, said: “No, I won’t pay for news articles or videos on Twitter because I think it is the publisher’s responsibility to make the public aware of what is happening around the world.”
The 44-year-old Filipina who works as an interior designer said that news is easily available on other platforms for free.
Everything is on gadgets and social media, our lives are connected to our phones. If I want to read or watch a news item, I go on Youtube, Facebook, or TikTok to get it.
“There are so many people who are publishing their own stories on social media now as well, so we don’t really watch the news through traditional ways. Everything is on gadgets and social media, our lives are connected to our phones. If I want to read or watch a news item, I go on Youtube, Facebook, or TikTok to get it. I have subscribed to news channels on Youtube, and you don’t need to pay to subscribe. I keep myself updated there, as my subscriptions pop up on my account and I watch whatever is new.
“With the times we are living in now, everything is pretty much open to the public, so paying an extra cost for content is not necessary,” she said.
Omar Abu Omar, a communications specialist living in Dubai thinks the same. When asked if he would pay for content on Twitter, the 36-year-old Palestinian expatriate replied: “Honestly, no. What I like about Twitter is how it is a little chaotic … different topics are being discussed and if I am interested in something, I will check the hashtag or perhaps Google it.
... if I am interested in something, I will check the hashtag or perhaps Google it.
“There are some news websites that I do like to read, which require a subscription, but even then I don’t see the value in paying for articles, as most of the content will be available through other media sources as well. It would be very rare for me to pay a per article fee.”
Siddhartha Trivedi, who works as a restaurant manager in Dubai, is a frequent Twitter user but said he would not pay for anything on Twitter.
There are many media portals or platforms that I would rather choose to switch to for free news.
“There are many media portals or platforms that I would rather choose to switch to for free news. A lot of the content we see on Twitter is the same as on other platforms. The only difference is that impactful people like celebrities and politicians use Twitter frequently to make announcements,” noted the 30-year-old Indian expatriate.
Would rather pay news websites
Polish expatriate Witold Abramowicz said that Twitter was not his main source of news, which is the reason he would not pay for news content on Twitter.
“Maybe, the only time I would consider paying is on news websites, which publish stories about economics and politics that affect me,” said the 36-year-old expatriate.
And, Indian expatriate B Bhaskaran, a frequent Twitter user, added: “I would much rather have a subscription to a newspaper’s online website, which doesn’t link my personality to my news consumption patterns.”