Mark Cuban is pissed off about Twitter’s new follow protocol.
The billionaire investor and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks recently took to Twitter to air his grievances and pitch his ideas, after the platform removed blue checkmarks from countless previously verified accounts.
Cuban wrote that Twitter CEO Elon Musk missed a marketing opportunity and could have enticed more users to pay for Twitter Blue’s $8 monthly subscription if he had offered more incentives. “There were 100 ways [Musk] could have asked for legacy checks for $100,” Cuban said. writing. “Egalitarianism was the worst of all.”
When rolling out the subscription service, Musk removed blue checkmarks from previously verified users and made them available to anyone willing to pay. In doing so, he diminished their value, Cuban suggested: Verification is now less exclusive, credible and, in turn, less desirable.
In March, 2.6 million people visited the Twitter Blue sales page, according to internet traffic analyst Similarweb. Only 116,000 of them, or less than 5% of that traffic, actually purchased a subscription that month. Bloomberg reported.
Twitter did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.
Cuban’s account currently has a blue checkmark. It’s unclear if he’s paying for Twitter Blue or Musk covers his subscription. Cuban did not immediately respond to a request for clarification, but wrote in another Tweeter that Twitter’s new “approach to legacy verifications is a huge mistake”.
He offered a few solutions, which he touted as smarter ways to make money selling the blue ticks. For $100 a year, he wrote:
- A Twitter artificial intelligence system could monitor fake celebrity accounts for you
- Twitter could promote $10,000 worth of tweets from a nonprofit of your choice
- Your tweets could have an unlimited number of characters
Cuban’s $100 figure is roughly equivalent to the $96 Twitter Blue users would pay in a year.
Twitter rose to prominence as a place where anyone could interact with anyone, and verified sources could keep people informed in real time. Musk’s implementation of Twitter Blue could make both elements more difficult for many users, especially when they no longer know who they are actually talking to.
But despite acknowledging Twitter’s shortcomings, Cuban isn’t backing down from the platform. In another recent Tweeterhe called Twitter “unique and irreplaceable at this time”, and expressed hope that the social media giant could reclaim its former power and popularity.
“Twitter is still the best game in town for so many different types of communication,” Cuban wrote. “If you look at Twitter on a 20 [year] horizon, the past [six months] are only the pre-season and it is not difficult to find what was.”
Disclosure: CNBC has exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” which features Mark Cuban as a panelist.
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