Twitter, now in the hands of Elon Musk, is looking at charging some users a lot more for the privilege of maintaining the coveted blue check mark.
Social media newsletter Platformer reports that one of Elon Musk's first moves since acquiring Twitter on late Thursday is demanding that executives roll out a program to charge existing verified users.
On Sunday, Musk tweeted on his platform that the entire Twitter verification system will be revamped.
On Tuesday, Musk affirmed his intent to revamp how people get verified on Twitter by charging an amount that is "adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity" and brings back "Power to the people". The new proposed Blue rate will be $8/month, he suggested.
The newly proposed $8/month fee is significantly less expensive than what it was first rumored to be.
On Sunday, according to The Verge, Twitter was looking at charging $19.99 for new Twitter Blue subscriptions, and verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their Twitter tick of approval.
In addition to changing the monthly cost, Musk hopes to change what Blue offers. In the same thread, Musk shared that the plan would include "Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam; ability to post long video & audio; half as many ads". The changes also include a paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with Twitter.
What's clear is that whatever Twitter decides to do about verifying users, change is coming.
Musk has previously argued Twitter verified accounts should be expanded to combat spam accounts on Twitter – an issue he raised as a stumbling block to finalizing his $44 billion acquisition of the company. In April, he said he wanted to "massively expand the verified pool & make bot armies too expensive to maintain."
Twitter Blue Labs offers Twitter Blue subscribers extra features like longer video uploads, editing tweets and NFT profile pictures.
Following his takeover, Musk changed his Twitter profile to "Chief Twit." He currently has 112.3 million followers. He posted a survey asking whether Twitter should bring back Vine, the short-form video service it abandoned a month after TikTok launched in September 2016.
Immediately after taking control of Twitter, Musk fired Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, as well as CFO Ned Segal, and several other seniors executives.
A day before the takeover, Musk posted an open letter to advertisers saying it aspires to be the "most respected advertising platform," contradicting his previous statements against ad-sponsored models. He also is considering reversing the permanent ban on former US President Donald Trump.
Musk told advertisers that Twitter "obviously cannot become a free-for-all hell scape, where anything can be so with no consequences" and that "advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain, and inform you." Still, General Motors on Friday paused its advertising on Twitter as it evaluates "Twitter's new direction."