There’s no going back on the $8 a month fee for the Twitter blue tick, Elon Musk has confirmed. After the new owner of the platform announced the monthly fee on Tuesday night, there was an uproar on Twitter. Responding to critics, the Tesla CEO and SpaceX owner tweeted, “To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8.”
A blue tick mark next to a username — normally for high-profile figures — is currently free. The new move will come in the form of a push for Twitter Blue, the new version of it will include some sort of verification accessible for $8 per month in the US and the price will be “adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity”.
As part of the package, subscribers will get…
- Priority in replies, mentions and search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam
- Ability to post long video and audio
- Half as many ads
- And paywall bypass for publishers “willing to work with us”
At the moment, Twitter Blue is not about being verified and the $4.99 a month allows one to read ad-free articles, undo/edit tweets (in some countries) and customisation of the navigation bar.
The idea behind the verification process can be traced back to 2009 when the company faced a legal case for damage to someone’s reputation for a Twitter account impersonating them. It was a way to protect the company as well as users against such instances. Then the blue tick became a status symbol. Musk has also tweeted: “Twitter speaks to the inner masochist in all of us.”
The new paid structure won’t actually bring Twitter a lot of money but it’s a start. The $8 pricing is something Musk first had hinted at when author Stephen King expressed displeasure with the reported $20 per month price. “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”
Musk wants to reduce Twitter’s reliance on advertising and some companies are concerned about advertising on the site under his leadership. General Motors, a rival of Musk’s electric car company Tesla, said last week it was suspending advertising on the site. There have also been reports of a few other major brands putting a temporary halt to advertising on the platform as they play the wait-and-watch game.