Twitter users 'face paying $20 monthly subscription fee for blue ticks'

31 October 2022, 13:33

Elon Musk pictured carrying a sink into Twitter's HQ
Elon Musk pictured carrying a sink into Twitter's HQ. Picture: Elon Musk/Twitter

By Asher McShane

Elon Musk is considering making people pay $20 per month to have blue ticks on their accounts, according to reports in the US.

He posted on the platform yesterday that “the whole verification process is being revamped right now.”

According to the tech newsletter Platformer, he wants verified users who subscribe to the site’s existing Twitter Blue service to begin paying more within 90 days or face losing their blue check marks.

He also flagged a poll launched on Monday asking users who much they would be willing to pay per month for a blue tick -$5, $10, $15, or ‘wouldn’t pay’.

The poll was set by tech investor Jason Calacanis, an associate of Elon Musk who is part of at team brought in to help run the business since the takeover.

Twitter has so far not confirmed or denied the report.

The blue tick verification system is designed to allow users to identify authentic and influential people on the platform, including government figures, media figures, sports stars, celebrities and major organisations.

The Twitter Blue service, not available in the UK, unlocks additional features including the ability to edit tweets after sending them.

There had been suggestions Mr Musk would look to subscription options as a way of growing Twitter's revenue, which is currently heavily dependent on advertising.

After completing his 44 billion dollar (£38 billion) takeover of the platform last week, Mr Musk's first few days in charge of the company have been eventful.

Amid growing speculation that he would allow banned accounts back onto the platform, he said on Friday that a content moderation council would be created and no "major" content or reinstatement decisions would be made before it had convened.

But in an exchange with another user, Mr Musk hinted at one approach to content moderation, suggesting users could select a film-style age rating to filter content when using the site.

"Being able to select which version of Twitter you want is probably better, much as it would be for a movie maturity rating," he said.

"The rating of the tweet itself could be self-selected, then modified by user feedback.

The Tesla and SpaceX owner was also widely criticised for tweeting, before later deleting, a link to a conspiracy theory about the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of senior Democratic politician Nancy Pelosi.

That incident has sparked further concern about the Mr Musk's belief in absolute free speech and a possible subsequent loosening of content moderation now he has control of Twitter, which many campaigners have warned will see abuse, harassment and misinformation grow on the site.

Over the weekend, he also denied reports that he planned to dismiss Twitter workers before the start of next month to avoid making certain payouts.

And Mr Musk offered other glimpses of his possible plans for the company, including asking users in a poll on his Twitter page if the company should bring back Vine, the short-form video app which Twitter shut down in 2016 and was an early forerunner to the likes of TikTok - now a major Twitter rival in the social space.

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