On the heels of his recent acquisition of Twitter on October 27, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is ready to make significant changes to the social media platform to increase the company’s revenue by charging its verified blue check badge users approximately $20 per month.
The blue check mark was introduced by Twitter in 2009 and helped users identify an account’s authenticity. According to the social network’s verification requirements, to receive the blue badge, an account must be “authentic, notable, and active.”
Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, was launched in 2021, providing its subscribers with various advantages, such as allowing them to edit tweets within the first 30 minutes of posting them. However, Musk reportedly plans to more than double its current subscription price from $4.99 to $19.99. The verification check mark would also be added to Twitter Blue, forcing users to pay for a currently free benefit.
Reports state that Musk instructed employees to implement the changes by November 7 or risk being fired. More so, current users who are verified will have 90 days to subscribe to the newly increased Twitter Blue plan or have their verification revoked. The CEO has not confirmed the reported plans, but in a tweet on Sunday said, “The whole verification process is being revamped right now.”
Musk acquired Twitter through a hefty $44 billion acquisition after securing financing from numerous investors such as technology firms and investment banks. Prior to purchasing the company, the 51-year-old had suggested different means of increasing the social network’s revenue, proposing that they may charge commercial or government users a fee but insisting that regular users would not have to pay.
In a Twitter poll posted on Sunday by Jason Calcanis, who is working with Musk at Twitter, users were asked how much they would pay to be verified. The majority of responders (81.7%) indicated that they would not pay for the service.