It’s not been a week after Twitter passed into Tesla+SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s hands, and already, there are changes to the company’s existing policies. This time, it is its user verification process that is getting revamped, and from the look of it, it is the latest attempt by the company to monetize its considerable user base.
So far, any Twitter user can apply for verification, but unless they meet the criteria, they will not get the “blue tick” verification badge. Now, reports suggest that the user verification rules will be tweaked, and users might have to pay for the much-coveted verification badge.
Elon Musk, the “Chief Twit” who took over the micro-blogging site last week and promptly fired several top executives of the company, informed in a tweet that the “whole verification process” was being revamped and revised “right now.” And while he refrained from giving more details, Platformer reported that users will have to pay a subscription in order to keep the verification badge, citing two people familiar with the matter.
While the final decision has not been made – meaning that this might not come to pass – it is likely that the verification of accounts will end up being a part of Twitter Blue, the company’s subscription service that was launched last year and will give subscribers access to exclusive features and perks (such as the feature to edit their tweets) in exchange for a monthly subscription.
Under the current plan, users have a period of 90 days to subscribe to Twitter Blue and pay a subscription if they wish to retain the verification badge. And Musk has already given Twitter employees his first ultimatum as Twitter’s owner – if they fail to launch the paid verification feature by November 7, then they will be out of a job.
This relates directly to a similar piece of news – The Verge reported, citing internal correspondence, that the new Twitter Blue subscription service (one that includes paid verification) will charge users $19.99 per month. In contrast, the original subscription tier was $4.99 per month, which will remain untouched. This marks an expansion of Twitter’s first-ever subscription service which is aimed to monetize a larger portion of its user base, and comes soon after Musk’s “open-letter” to advertisers where the Tesla and SpaceX executive assured them that he did not buy Twitter to “make more money.”
Speaking of Musk, the billionaire denied a report by The New York Times about bringing forth job cuts and laying off a portion of Twitter’s workforce sometime before November 1 so that he could back out of giving them the stock grants that are due on the day.