Following a $44 billion takeover of Twitter, one of the first things Elon Musk did, besides firing knighting himself as “Chief Twit,” both figuratively and literally, was to announce his plans to charge $20 for verification.
Musk is considering charging $20 a month, or $240 a year, for verified users on Twitter to keep their blue checkmarks.
It’s part of his plan for a revamp of the social media network, a plan that he is yet to reveal in full. So far, he mentioned that he’s coming after bots on the network, and making certain algorithms public.
While Musk may decide to take all of these steps in due time, for now, he seems hellbent on making his Twitter investment pay for itself. The verification fee he’s implying is actually the Twitter Blue subscription, only he’s planning to raise its price from $4.99 to $19.99 a month.
Users that Twitter previously verified and slapped a blue checkmark on now face a choice — sign up to Twitter Blue in 90 days, or lose the verified status.
Musk did not comment on his plans or his vision of the new Twitter, but he did come out to say that verification process will look different.
The whole verification process is being revamped right now— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
The verification system has been around since 2009, but it hasn’t been without its flaws.
What was initially a system designed to prevent celebrity impersonation as a proof of identity, has quickly evolved into a status symbol. Twitter discontinued the program for a number of years before resuming it in 2021.
Even if all the currently verified users accepted to pay the fee to retain their status, it’s nowhere near enough to repay Musk’s hefty investment.
It doesn’t take much to realize that he’s got greater plans in the works, plans that nobody will now be able to foil as he’s the sole director of Twitter following the dismissal of Twitter’s entire board of directors.
One of his plans seems to be the expansion of Twitter Blue to include new services and benefits. That way, he may be able to get more users onboard with subscribing, instead of just targeting current checkmark wearers.
He also hinted at the possibility of resurrecting Vine, a short-video platform Twitter put to rest in 2016.
Bring back Vine?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2022
Currently, Twitter is in chaos.
Challenging users’ verification status has invited cybersecurity threats, hate speech is on the rise and certain agencies are calling on a Twitter advertising hiatus.
If Musk can’t navigate through this maze of new challenges a bit more carefully, he may not have enough users to advertise subscriptions to.