Twitter users to pay $8 a month for a blue check mark
Elon Musk just became Twitter’s proprietor and CEO, and changes are already happening. In a new move, the billionaire wants to start charging a monthly fee for the blue check mark – Twitter’s verification badge.
by Aline Barbosa
Some changes are coming to the social media platform, and they are coming fast.
Last Tuesday, new Twitter Inc. owner and CEO – Elon Musk – said that he wants to charge $8 monthly for a subscription that would allow all Twitter users to have the verified blue check mark on their accounts.
In a series of tweets, he mentioned that Twitter Blue – as the subscription service is called – would also include a number of other features. For instance, users would be given priority in mentions, search results and replies. Plus, they would also be able to post longer video and audio clips.
Twitter Blue costs $5 monthly and provides some interesting perks, but not the blue check mark. In one of his tweets, Elon says that the current way to decide who gets a check mark is wrong and called for a reevaluation.
The social media company has always provided the blue check mark to popular and important accounts for free. That verification usually means that the user is a public figure of some importance, and that the account isn’t fake.
Although that was not Twitter’s initial intention, the blue check mark has also become a symbol of status amongst users.
Elon’s plans to charge users for the verification badge stems directly from his intentions of steering the platform away from too many ads. However, the move has raised a few questions. Especially on how users will be able to know if an account is truly authentic.
In another tweet on Tuesday night, Musk said that he plans to include a secondary tag below the user’s name if they are a public figure.
Blue check mark controversy
There were a series of reports about Twitter’s potential charge for verification even before Musk’s tweets last Tuesday. Twitter execs were already considering some sort of fee in order for people to keep their free blue check mark and take the verification badge away if they refused.
According to reports from social media and unidentified sources, the company’s executives spent the entire weekend discussing the idea and making plans about it. However, it is unclear at this point from Musk’s series of tweets if already verified users would lose their blue check mark if they don’t want to subscribe to Twitter’s service.
Earlier last week, a report suggested that the social media platform considered charging over $20 for Twitter Blue. The same report mentions that the user’s blue check mark would be lost if they didn’t want to take part. They would have close to three months to decide or lose their verification badge.
The high subscription prices annoyed some famous Twitter users, including Stephen King, who said he was going to leave the platform if the news were true. Musk then replied to the author, saying Twitter can’t live off of ads, and suggested the $8 figure.
Twitter’s verification have become a status symbol due to the fact that they are significantly rare. A report from 2021 said that only 0.2% of active users were verified by the platform. Upping Twitter Blue’s association fee will definitely provide the social media company with a brand new revenue stream.
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