Elon Musk, the new owner and boss of Twitter, has hinted that he wants to introduce an $8 per month subscription for verified account holders. In a series of tweets, he added that a Twitter Blue subscription will include other features, such as priority in replies, mentions, and search results, and the ability to post long video and audio clips. Subscribers will also see half as many ads.
Twitter Blue currently costs $5 per month but doesn’t include account certification. A system that Elon Musk called “bullshit”. Twitter provides verified badges to accounts for free after the company determines that a user is “genuine, known, and active.” The blue badge is intended to alert users that the account is a celebrity, journalist, “politician or other public figure”. Despite Twitter’s original intent, some users consider this label to be a status symbol. In 2021, only 360,000 accounts were certified, or 0.2% of Twitter’s daily monetized active users.
Elon Musk’s intention to charge for certification shows that he wants to make Twitter less reliant on ads. Questions arise about how users will be able to determine whether an identity account is genuine. The new Twitter boss explained that “there will be a secondary label under the name of someone who is a public figure.”
Stephen King’s wrath
Prior to Elon Musk’s clarification, there were several rumors that Twitter might charge for certification. The Verge announced a $20 subscription to Twitter Blue and the removal of the certified label for users who refuse to subscribe to it. A prospect that has angered some high-profile Twitter users, including writer Stephen King. “$20 a month to keep my blue badge? Hell, they should pay me. If everything falls into place, I will break like Enron,” the writer wrote on Twitter. “We have to pay our bills one way or another!” Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about 8 dollars? ‘ replied Elon Musk.
CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance
Image: Sarah Tew/CNET