Things are hard, will we get a discount on Twitter blue tick?

Author: Angella Nampewo. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • ‘‘There were some interesting reactions, including threats to leave the platform”

This week, Twitter boss Elon Musk announced an end to Twitter’s class system as we know it. To paraphrase, he believes that Twitter’s current “lords and peasant system” is hogwash, to put it mildly. Therefore, in addition to your other subscriptions dear blue tick holder, you and every Tom, Dick, Harriet will be required to pay a minimum of $8 (Shs30,000) for the monthly privilege of having a blue tick.

In the aftermath of the announcement, there were some interesting reactions, including threats to leave the platform, surrender the blue tick and many more. As of 2022, statistics by, by July advertisers could reach 486 million users on the platform, putting it in 14th place in ranking of the world’s most active platforms. 
The number of daily active users from which the new Twitter boss can hope to make some money is in the range of 200 million users. Some have argued that the man who bought the app stands to make some real money with the app. Others have warned that according to social media economics, adoption is only about 20 percent. So take the total number of active users and skim off that fraction to see who the potential buyers are likely to be.

The number of potential issues that have reared their ugly heads is testament to Elon Musk’s guts. He came in with a sink and to many, he appears to be tinkering with something that wasn’t broken in the first place. Verifying public figures was helping users to sort the wheat from the chaff, some have argued. Now how will anyone know which account belongs to a genuine user? Some say verification was helping to lock out scammers and now any hoodlum with $8 could qualify to be verified and all hell could break loose on the bird app.
This is one of those actions that could either take off or fail miserably. There is no middle of the road. No sitting on the fence here. You can tell from the extremes of reaction. With the bulk of users being in the US, the ‘I’m leaving Twitter’ declaration is fast replacing the ‘I’m moving to Canada’ slogan. That is on the one hand. On the other hand, one user who probably hasn’t heard of people living on less than a dollar a day, boldly asked why people were whining about a mere $8? They could not understand why a few US cents a day should give anybody a headache. The debate was still raging by the time of writing.

In other news, one of singer Levixone’s hit songs appears to have been reborn at home. Anti Embeera. In the song by Levixone and Grace Morgan, the duo sing about some desperate youth turning to con jobs and other extreme moneymaking ventures. The cost of living is climbing day and night and as a fellow Ugandan said to me this week, “When we thought the economy was tight, that was nothing. This is the real deal”.

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics, while presenting the Consumer Price Index this week, said inflation has pushed up the prices of goods and services by 10.7 percent in the last 12 months. Inflation for maize flour was 91.5 percent in October. Let that sink in. One can hardly afford a watermelon even if the doctor prescribed it. Elon Musk tweeted that the price of verification would be adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity. So given our situation, do we qualify for a discount?

Ms Nampewo is a writer, editor and communications consultant     
[email protected]