Musk’s Twitter app will charge $8 for blue checkmarks
In Elon Musk’s first big change to the social media site, Twitter updated its app in the Apple App Store on Saturday, November 5 to begin charging $8 for the coveted blue check verification marks.
The adjustment occurs one week after Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the social networking business. The billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla slashed half of Twitter’s workforce and pledged to begin charging users more.
Twitter announced in an update for Apple iOS devices that users who “join up now” and pay $7.99 per month will have a blue checkmark next to their user names, “exactly like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.”
Prior to Musk’s takeover, blue check marks next to a user’s name indicated Twitter had authenticated the account belonged to the individual or organization claiming it. It was unclear how or if Twitter intended to verify the user’s identity beyond charging a charge.
According to the iOS notification, the update also includes “half the advertisements,” the ability to upload lengthier videos to Twitter, and a ranking boost for high-quality material.
Twitter and Musk, through Tesla, did not respond to a request for comment immediately.
In an effort to monetise the social media network and make it less reliant on adverts, Twitter’s new CEO announced the changes earlier this week. Twitter is currently free for the vast majority of users.
The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom will have access to Twitter’s new verification service, according to the update.
“As soon as we confirm it is functioning properly in the initial set of countries and the translation work is complete, it will be rolled out globally,” Musk tweeted on Saturday.
In response to a comment from a user, Musk wrote that Twitter Blue will launch in India “hopefully within a month.”
Musk noted in a separate tweet that “improving search is a top priority” on Twitter.
When a commenter pointed out that YouTube offers creators 55% of ad money, he answered in another tweet, “We can beat that.”
“Twitter will soon enable the attachment of long-form content to tweets, putting an end to the ridiculousness of notepad snapshots. Then creator monetization for all content types,” Musk wrote in a tweet.
As of Saturday, the price of the Twitter Blue update remained unchanged at $4.99.
Twitter’s early stage products executive Esther Crawford stated that the new service was not yet live shortly after the upgrade became available to users.
“The new Blue is not yet live – the race to our launch continues, but certain users may notice us testing and pushing changes in real time,” she tweeted.
This week, Crawford became viral after retweeting a photo of herself sleeping on the office floor at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco following Musk’s takeover.
“When your team is working around the clock to meet deadlines, you may occasionally #SleepWhereYouWork.”