Elon Musk wants to charge $8 dollars a month for Twitter’s Blue Service which includes the verified blue tick next to one’s handle.
The new owner and CEO of Twitter took to his social media platform saying the current “lords and peasants’ system was unacceptable, although he used an expletive.
The social media company already charges around $5 a month for its Twitter Blue service in select regions including the United States that allows access to premium features including editing or undoing tweets.
It would cost South African users almost R150 a month.
“BS” is how Elon Musk described the current system of who has and doesn’t have a blue check mark – an identifier Twitter introduced as a sign that the user had been vetted and verified – or similarly the company, government or NGO associated with the account.
Twitter is currently free for most users but does generate revenue through advertising.
Musk changed his Twitter handle from Chief Twit to Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator with a picture of a baby on the phone, tweeting Power to the People.
Blue for $8 a month, he went on to explain that the price would be adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity.
To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
He further explained that the service would provide priority in replies, an ability to post long videos and audio with half as many adverts among other features, while giving Twitter a review stream to reward content creators.
Managing Director at Wedbush Securities, Daniel Ives says, “The problem for Musk is monetization. I mean, Twitter, as pervasive as it is, it’s basically been a treadmill stock, a troubled asset. He has a lot of wood to chop. I think there’s going to be probably a paid subscription piece. He’s going to have to increase engagement. Clearly, headcount cuts will be on the horizon. And then the journey to creating a WeChat-like app that we see in China, that’s really, I think, the ultimate strategic goal for Musk when it comes to Twitter.”
The blue verified checkmark was introduce merely to show an account that was official – for example verifying that a journalist actually works for the company they claim to work for, providing an added layer of legitimacy on a platform easily susceptible to misinformation and conspiracy – as Musk seeks to bolster Twitter’s profitability.
Musk’s eye-watering $ 44-billion acquisition of the social media company has seen him quickly begin shaking things up. This has seen an exodus of top management – including the CEO, CFO, legal affairs and advertising heads among others.
And as uncertainty around content moderation grows – and a rise in hateful content since Musk’s takeover – calls are growing for advertisers to pull their ads from the platform while advertising giant Interpublic Group recommended that its clients suspend all paid ads for at least a week as they await Twitter’s plans on trust and safety.