Twitter began deploying a paid subscription for premium features on the platform for the first time in its history, in line with company efforts to expand revenue streams and return to profitability.

The Blue service is initially being deployed in Australia and Canada, with user feedback sought before adding more countries, Twitter stated.

Subscribers will be able to reverse the publishing of a tweet for up to 30 seconds after posting and organise saved content using bookmarks, a feature similar to one introduced by Facebook in 2014.

Twitter Blue subscribers will also have access to a Reader Mode designed to turn long threads into “easy-to-read” text.

Other features offer app icon customisation, additional colour themes and access to a dedicated customer support team.

The company said its move was prompted by numerous user requests for features which meet their needs, but offered assurance a free version of the service will remain.

In Canada the subscription is priced CAD3.49 ($2.88) per month, and AUD4.49 ($3.44) in Australia.

Twitter is the first major social media platform to introduce a paid subscription model alongside a free edition.

CEO Jack Dorsey first unveiled intentions for the move in July 2020 following hits to advertising revenue related to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The company recorded a net loss of $1.14 billion in 2020, compared with a $1.5 billion profit in 2019.