Friday 20 October 2023

Is the blue tick worth it?


Twitter has changed. I still think the rebranding as X is silly. This is not least because it makes it very difficult to search on Google for information about Twitter. The words Tweet and Retweet have entered the language. It is perverse to rename them Post and Repost.

But for someone like me who writes regularly and hopes to get readers, Twitter/X is still all there is. I share my articles regularly on Facebook. They get listed on Google, but Twitter provides me with much of my traffic.

It was therefore with some dismay that I began to find the number of my readers in decline. These things tend to go up and down a bit depending on events. During the initial stages of the Sturgeon scandal lots of people wanted to read about it. Then it all went quiet. But this was different.

I reached out to people explaining the situation. I added a donate button. I am so grateful to everyone who has contributed. I was struggling a bit in August with motivation. Why get up early to write another article if it didn’t get the readers I was used to? I began to think that I was doing something wrong. But I got a huge response from readers, and this continues. Thank you so much. It gave me a boost when I needed it.

But still something felt wrong on Twitter. People told me they no longer saw my articles or didn’t even saw me at all. I asked for people’s experience, and many agreed the problem was my lack of a blue tick.

I was initially reluctant to get a blue tick. It felt like a con. For years I had used Twitter without one. Why suddenly did I need one?

Unfortunately, I am forced to conclude that a blue tick is indeed necessary. If you don’t have one you are forced to fight Twitter to get any attention. The algorithm clearly disadvantages those without blue ticks. It doesn’t make Twitter impossible, but it makes it much harder to gain followers and views.

My experience is this. I subscribed to Twitter and a few days later I was given my blue tick. Immediately I gained lots of followers and my tweets gained much more attention. The page views for my site increased also.

There are a few added extras when you get your blue tick. The first thing noticeable is that there is a timer each time you tweet. It gives you the chance to review what you have written. To be honest I find this an annoyance. Next there is the chance to edit a tweet after it has been sent. I find this very useful. I make lots of typos and here is a chance to fix them. I can see how people might abuse the edit feature. You could get people to retweet one thing only to turn it into something else. But I think anyone who did this would lose followers fast.

It is also possible to write much longer tweets. If you approach the normal limit, you are given the opportunity of writing anything up to 10,000 characters, which would be about 2000 words. I could in theory put my whole article in a tweet. But I don’t think a tweet is the ideal place to read an article and it would rather defeat the purpose of getting people to my site. In general, I think long tweets counterproductive. So, I never use this feature.

But the thing that makes the blue tick worth while for me is the opportunity to allow people to subscribe and the opportunity to share Twitter revenue. The second of these has already repaid my subscription.

To be eligible for Ads Revenue Sharing, you need to have a blue tick, you need at least 500 followers, and you need to “Have at least 5M impressions on your posts within the last 3 months” The way you can find out if you do is to go to Twitter analytics.

The added features that you get from the blue tick are frankly not worth it. But if you want to build a following on Twitter, I think a blue tick is essential. If you are happy with a few followers and just want to interact with others I wouldn’t bother getting the blue tick. If you have 5 million impressions in three months, then it is probably worth applying for a blue tick as an experiment. See how much you get back. Then make a calculation of whether it is worth it. It is cheaper to subscribe to Twitter for a year, but I would only pay one month’s subscription to begin with as you are not guaranteed to get a blue tick even if you pay.

The number of my readers has increased since I got my blue tick. My number of followers has gone up hugely. It’s the difference between walking through a bog and walking on dry land.

But I still rely on each and everyone of you to retweet, make comments and above all read the articles. There is only me. I continually need your help to get the message across. The blue tick helps, but each of you helps more.

If you liked this article, then cross my PayPal with silver and soon there will be a new one. See below.