Coming to a Xroad
What you need to know about X, Bluesky and Threads
I admit that I’m not great at noticing small details, but I’m curious if anyone caught that Facebook logo refresh? Meta also updated Facebook’s in-app colour palette. Here’s more from Social Media Today.
In today’s newsletter:
Coming to a Xroad: What You Need to Know About X, Bluesky and Threads
Social Snack: Meta Expands Paid Verification to Businesses
Totally Tube-ular: Tube Girl Rides London’s Underground to Millions of Views
Coming to a Xroad
Well, I did it — I signed up for Twitter competitor Bluesky Social. And it looks like I wasn’t the only one. According to several reports, the social networking app saw a boost in followers after Elon Musk suggested that all X (formerly Twitter) users would soon have to pay to use the platform.
Here’s what you need to know about X. I’ll also show you what Bluesky looks like. And we should probably talk about Threads.
1/4 A Paywall (Perhaps)
Elon Musk is known for pushing a subscription model on X (known as X Premium). But he recently said that even those who don’t subscribe may soon have to pay to use the platform. He made the comments during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying: “We're moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system” to counter bots, according to this report from the BBC. There has been no word since that Sept. 18th call about exactly how much he would charge. A current X Premium subscription is about $15 per month for Canadians. Here is a country-by-country pricing breakdown.
But you do have options.
2/4 Option 1: Bluesky
Bluesky is a decentralized social media app backed by former Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey. Anyone can join, but you either have to receive an invite, or join the waitlist (download the app and then ask to join the waitlist).
It looks A LOT like the Twitter feed (see below). There are several tabs at the top for Following, Discover, Popular With Friends, and BlueSky News. Many users call posts “skeets” — a combination of “sky” and “tweet.”
After Musk announced that all X users will have to pay, Bluesky saw record signups, according to Mashable. And as for how things are going, Jay Graber, the CEO of Bluesky, recently announced that the platform had surpassed 1 million users.
3/4 Option 2: Threads
So, if you aren’t familiar with Threads yet, the Instagram-owned app launched in the July. It looks somewhat like Twitter, and doesn’t really have much of the same functionality (no hashtags; although you can now search for topics). Once you download the app, it simply pulls over your Instagram profile and followers, so setup is a cinch. And while initially there was a lot of buzz about the app, which reached 100 million followers in less than a week, it continues to struggle.
Business Insider is reporting that usage is down to 6 minutes a day, from 21 minutes a day after its initial launch. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri recently addressed the status of the app in an Instagram Story, saying:
“Overall [Threads is doing] good. A lot of people use it, but they don’t use it as frequently as we would like. There are some people who use it a ton, and some people who use it in a very, very lightweight way. So lots of work to improve.”
4/4 Is There a Reason to Stay on X?
Most people I’ve talked to — even those with a larger audience — have said they will leave X if they have to pay. And honestly, it feels as if many people have already left. I’ll give you an example.
Last week we should have been in Halifax, but when we saw Hurricane Lee barrelling towards Atlantic Canada, we thought we would sit things out. Before we made the official decision to cancel, I thought I would see what others were saying about the storm on X. After scrolling through the “Top” tab, it didn’t take long for the posts to start repeating themselves. There just wasn’t the quantity of posts there that I’m used to — particularly for storm coverage.
So, I’m not really sure there is an incentive to stay. Things also seem to be a lot more toxic on the platform, in part driven by Musk himself, who is threatening to sue the Anti-Defamation League.
So, what are your thoughts? Will you stay on X no matter what? Or have you already started to explore your options?
🍩 SOCIAL SNACK 🍩
Meta expands paid verification to businesses
Meta recently announced that it would begin expanding its “Meta Verified for Creators” subscription bundle to include businesses who use Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The monthly subscription includes:
A verified badge confirming your business is validated and authentic
Proactive impersonation monitoring for added brand protection
Access to support and help troubleshooting account issues
Plus new ways to be featured and discovered “including appearing at or near the top of search results and as a recommended verified business to follow in feed”
Meta Verified business subscriptions will be available for purchase on Facebook and Instagram “in the coming weeks in select test countries.” Monthly subscriptions START at $21.99 USD per month per Facebook page or Instagram account, or $34.99 USD per month for both. Note: Subscriptions purchased on mobile are $27.99 a month per Facebook page or Instagram professional account.
Why I would recommend this — if your Facebook or Instagram account has ever been hacked, you know how hard it is to get support to help regain access to your page. If you can pay for support, I say go for it.
Snapchat hits 5 million Snapchat+ subscribers [Snapchat Blog]
Meta says you can now have multiple personal profiles on Facebook [Facebook Blog]
X/Twitter is shutting down Circles next month [Gizmodo]
TikTok introduces new labels for disclosing AI-generated content [TikTok Blog]
YouTube unveils a slew of new AI-powered tools for creators [CNN]
LinkedIn introduces AI-assisted search and research in Sales Navigator [LinkedIn Blog]
🚊 Totally Tube-ular
A lot of people have been talking about “Tube Girl.” Here’s what you need to know.
TikToker Sabrina Bahsoon has amassed millions of views with videos of her lip-syncing and dancing while riding London’s subway (also known as “The Tube”). She told BBC News she wanted to make her long commutes more fun, and a bit safer (no one comes up to you if you’re dancing on video).
Sabrina also uses a unique way to film that makes it feel like a music video. Want to learn how she does it? themuthership on TikTok has you covered.
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