“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” Musk tweeted Tuesday. “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”
Without elaborating, Musk also wrote, “This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators.”
Previously, an unconfirmed report by the Verge said Musk planned to hike the price of Twitter Blue to $20/month and that the plan would include verified status. Musk apparently had a change of heart after a broad backlash to the idea, including from Stephen King — who said Monday he would quit Twitter over the plan. Indeed, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and now Twitter had replied to King, suggesting $8/month for the privilege. “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?” Musk had tweeted.
Musk didn’t say when the new Twitter Blue plan would take effect. It’s also unclear whether Twitter will revoke verified account status from users who already have the badge, although the previous Verge report said verified users would have 90 days to subscribe to Twitter Blue or lose their verification. Asked for more info, a PR rep for Twitter said Musk’s tweets “should speak for themselves.”
According to Musk, in addition to verified blue check-mark status, Twitter Blue going forward also will include:
- Priority in replies, mentions and search, “which is essential to defeat spam/scam”
- Ability to post long video and audio
- Half as many ads
- Paywall bypass for publishers “willing to work with us”
Musk said the price of Twitter Blue would be “adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity.” To date, the service has launched in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Twitter Blue launched in mid-2021, and in the U.S. currently costs $4.99/month. Subscriber-only perks have included the most recent addition of allowing users to edit tweets within a 30-minute window after posting them and a time-limited “Undo Tweet” function. However, Twitter as of Oct. 31 ended the ability for Blue subscribers to view ad-free articles from participating online publishers.
Twitter first introduced verified accounts in 2009. The goal was to increase trust in the social network by providing a visual signifier that notable account holders, such as celebrities, politicians, companies, entertainment brands, news organizations and other accounts “of public interest” were the real deal — and not fake or parody accounts.
From Variety US