Twitter introduced on Saturday that it could start charging clients $7.99 a month to obtain a verification verify mark on their profiles, one in every of a raft of product adjustments that the corporate has been discussing since Elon Musk’s takeover slightly over per week in the past.
The announcement was included in notes accompanying a brand new replace to the Twitter app that appeared in Apple’s App Retailer. The notes defined that the paid verification system was now a characteristic of the web site’s subscription service, Twitter Blue.
“Energy to the folks,” the announcement stated. “Your account will get a blue checkmark, identical to the celebrities, firms, and politicians you already comply with.”
To fund his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Mr. Musk loaded the corporate with $13 billion in debt, which comes with greater than $1 billion a 12 months in curiosity funds. That has put Twitter beneath huge stress to chop prices and lift income. This week, Twitter laid off roughly half the corporate’s work drive, or about 3,700 jobs.
Along with charging for verification, Mr. Musk and his advisers have been weighing quite a few different concepts to usher in extra income, from placing sure movies behind paywalls to reviving Vine, the now-defunct short-form video platform.
The replace notes unveiled on Saturday additionally promised that subscribers would obtain different advantages, together with “half the adverts & a lot better ones,” in addition to the flexibility to publish longer movies on Twitter.
And in a series of tweets on Saturday, Mr. Musk stated that the corporate was engaged on an replace that will give customers the flexibility to connect long-form textual content to tweets, which he stated would remove “the absurdity of notepad screenshots.”
However the change to Twitter’s signature verification system has proved particularly controversial. Up to now, the corporate manually assigned a blue circle with a white verify mark to high-profile figures and companies. With the midterm elections approaching on Tuesday, some election-integrity advocates have voiced fears that the brand new paid verification system may make it simpler for unhealthy actors to impersonate political candidates or different public figures.
The replace notes didn’t focus on any steps Twitter may take to stop impersonation. However requested on Twitter how he would fight that downside, Mr. Musk stated on Saturday that the corporate would droop impostors and maintain their cash. “If scammers wish to do that one million instances, that’s only a complete bunch of free cash,” he stated.