Musk floats idea of charging small fee for commercial and government users of Twitter

Ever since it was announced that tech billionaire Elon Musk had made an offer to purchase Twitter for around $44 billion, the innovative entrepreneur has dropped a number of hints about potential changes he is considering for the social media platform.

Musk did so again Tuesday when he seemed to float the idea that businesses and government entities would be required to pay a fee to use the platform, though Twitter would always remain free to use for the “casual user,” Fox Business reported.

Potential cost for “commercial/government users”

It was in a tweet Tuesday night that Musk put forward the possibility that commercial and government users of the platform should pay fees while normal users could continue to utilize the platform at no cost.

It was mentioned as a follow-up to a more cryptic earlier tweet about how “the downfall of the Freemasons was giving away their stonecutting services for nothing.”

“Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users,” Musk wrote.

Seeking a small return on his investment

The idea of a small surcharge for certain users or features on Twitter isn’t exactly new, as the platform had recently introduced a premium subscription service, known as Twitter Blue, that could be purchased for $2.99 per month, Fox Business noted, though Musk had previously hinted at reducing that price to be even more affordable for average users.

Nor should it be out of the question for Musk, who is investing tens of billions of dollars into Twitter, to figure out new and interesting ways to capitalize on his purchase and garner some sort of revenue and return on that investment.

Further, considering that many corporations and companies with a presence on Twitter utilize the platform to increase their own profits, it makes perfect business sense for Twitter to charge a fee in exchange for providing the very platform those commercial users are benefiting from.

Still fundamentally about protecting free speech

That said, and while it appears that Musk may be angling to derive some return on his investment, it still appears that his primary goal in purchasing Twitter is to restore it as a platform dedicated to enshrining and protecting the fundamental right of free speech.

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in his mid-April SEC filing announcing his purchase bid. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

Should Musk’s purchase of Twitter be ultimately approved by shareholders and federal regulators, it likely won’t be long before he begins to make the transformative changes he has alluded to, and charging corporate and government entities a small fee to utilize or profit from the platform is likely just one of many steps that will be made.

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