Twitter Blue subscriptions launch in New Zealand, but ad-free feeds not an option

Twitter Blue screenshots
Subscribers will get early access to new features and the ability to undo a sent tweet. Photo credit: Supplied

Twitter Blue, the social media platform's paid monthly subscription offering, is being rolled out in New Zealand today, making Kiwis among the first in the world to get access.

Previously only Australia and Canada users could pay for the experience, with Aotearoa and the United States gaining the functionality today. It will cost NZ$4.49 per month here.

"New Zealand is an important market for us, and we're so excited to offer people there access to Twitter Blue," Smita Gupta, senior product manager at Twitter told Newshub.

"For the same price as a flat white, people will have access to a stack of features including undo Tweet, ad-free reading, the ability to view the most-shared articles in their networks and the option to customise their navigation bar and how they read Tweets."

On iOS and desktop members can read articles from publications like the Washington Post, USA Today, Rolling Stone and The Hollywood Reporter without ads, with a portion of the user's subscription going to the news organisations.

The feature is limited, however, because Android users currently don't have access and it doesn't allow paywalls to be bypassed, so some of the articles that are ad-free may still be unavailable.

The ad-free experience also doesn't apply to a user's normal feed. Currently around every fifth piece of content is promoted content and it's unlikely that will change any time soon, The Verge reported.

"We are not currently considering a Twitter ads-free product," said Sara Beykpour, Twitter senior director of product.

Twitter Blue also resurrects functionality made popular by Nuzzel, an app created by Scroll which Twitter acquired earlier this year. Nuzzel was shut down after the purchase, with a commitment to bring "core elements" to Twitter at some point.

With it, users will see the most-shared articles in their network over the last 24 hours, so it's easy to see what connections are reading.

Other functionality available includes Undo Tweet, where users can set a customisable timer of up to 30 seconds to click undo before the tweet is posted to their timeline, along with Reader, which turns long threads into a seamless piece of text.

Blue members will also get access to Twitter Labs, which includes early access to new features before anyone else.

"These features will change regularly," Gupta told Newshub.

"But for now, the ability to pin conversations to the top of DMs and longer video uploads are being trialled. We're eager to give Kiwis access to Labs to get their critical feedback on new ideas we're testing."

Reactions on the platform have been mixed so far, with many questioning why they need to pay extra for an undo feature that could be considered core functionality and why there is no ad-free feed experience.

Others, like Dieter Bohn, executive editor at The Verge, are more positive.

"Okay, Twitter Top Articles (nee Nuzzel) is good. It's almost surely the thing that's going to keep me subscribed to Twitter Blue long term," he wrote.