Tesla CEO and now “Chief Twit” Elon Musk wants Twitter to revamp its subscription service ‘Blue’ to include a higher price tag and verification status.
According to internal correspondence and people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Verge, the plan is to raise the cost of Twitter Blue from $4.99 USD to $19.99 USD per month. (In Canada, Twitter nearly doubled the price of Blue to $6.49/mo in July — it’s not clear how much the new, more expensive Blue will cost in Canada, but $19.99 USD is about $27.34 CAD.)
Beyond the price increase, the new Blue subscription would include verification. Currently, verified Twitter users (shown with a blue check mark) must get verification by applying for it. Verification is intended as a tool for authenticating accounts that are of public interest, such as accounts for political leaders, journalists, and celebrities. Under the new verification system tied to Blue, currently verified Twitter users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark.
The Verge also reported that Musk gave Twitter employees an ultimatum: meet his deadline to introduce paid verification or leave the company. Musk reportedly has Twitter employees working late into the night and over the weekend while managers are drawing up lists of people to fire. Employees working on paid verification were given a deadline of November 7th to launch or be fired.
The whole verification process is being revamped right now
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
Considering Blue wasn’t worth the cost at $6.49, raising the price significantly and only adding verification as a benefit seems like a poor choice. Moreover, the implementation may harm the verification status if anyone can just pay for a blue check.
Blue’s other features include the ability to edit tweets, as well as access to ad-free articles from some publishers, customizations in the app and more. However, Musk apparently wants to grow subscriptions to become half of Twitter’s overall revenue — forcing people who need a verification badge to pay for it is certainly one way to push that agenda.
Of course, if you’d rather not deal with Twitter under Musk, there are some people who have jumped ship to other platforms like Mastodon — learn more here.
For the latest on all the Musk x Twitter news, check out our coverage here.
Updated 01/11/2022 2:33pm ET: Elon Musk has announced Twitter Blue will cost $8 a month in the U.S.
Via: The Verge