By charging $ 8 (£ 7) a month for a blue Twitter tick and other bonus features, the social media platform is losing its “magic,” a former executive said.
At this point, all users around the world had equal votes on the platform, former head of global communications Brandon Borrman told BBC News.
But the verification of the sale and greater visibility would “stratify” Twitter.
And he was “curious and concerned” about what the new owner of the platform, Elon Musk, could do to increase revenue.
“If paying for the blue check was the fairest way to do it, I think Twitter probably would have done it long ago,” Borrman told BBC News. And he wondered how Twitter could justify paying people to stay on an equal footing with other users.
Along with the blue Verified badge, those who pay could spread their tweets more widely and see fewer ads, Musk suggested.
“It’s great for people who have money and want to spend money to amplify their voice,” said Brandon Borrman. “$8 may seem like nothing to many people – but it’s substantial enough for most people in the world.”
Mr Musk tweeted of his plan: ‘We have to pay the bills one way or another.’
Considered influential, Twitter is where celebrities, politicians and world leaders share their views – and ordinary people can respond directly.
But the company hasn’t made a profit for several years, while its core user base has remained fairly stable at around 300 million per month. And Mr. Borrman recognized that he had to change to grow.
The main problem was that many of those who tried didn’t stay, he said.
“You have to convince them that they will get something out of it they don’t already have by seeing the tweets embedded in newspapers and television coverage around the world.”
Some Twitter users have threatened to delete their accounts to protest the new leadership.
But Borrman said there was no credible alternative, despite smaller rival Mastadon claiming to have registered thousands of new accounts since Musk’s purchase.
“They just aren’t consumer or user-friendly,” he said.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is working on a social networking concept called Bluesky, but little is known about when it might start or what it might look like.
Mr Dorsey also kept his stake in Twitter – worth about $ 1 billion – and backed Mr Musk, describing it as “the only solution I trust” to run the company. “Wait for mode”
Mr Borrman, who left Twitter in June 2021 after three and a half years and now works for the non-profit web organization Mozilla, said he was glad to be gone before Mr Musk arrived on places.
He is still in contact with friends and colleagues at the company and said the atmosphere at headquarters was now “tense”.
“Elon obviously has a particular way of running and doing things that’s quite different from how Twitter has been run in the past,” he said.
“There are a lot of people who are in wait-and-see mode.”
According to unconfirmed reports, Mr Musk plans to lay off thousands of employees.
Twitter is one of many companies that are “probably bigger than they should be right now” thanks to the Silicon Valley mentality of attracting and retaining tech talent, Borrman said. “Technology moves in radically different cycles from oil and gas, automobiles and other forms of production, so having that workforce can be very beneficial to you and accelerate your growth,” he said.
“Twitter was in a pretty good position for 2022.
“I was really excited to see what that team would do in the future.
“It’s disappointing that they weren’t able to actually execute what I think was a pretty solid strategy.”