Twitter is reportedly switching to a paid model for verification, requiring users to pay $20 per month in order to retain their 'Blue Tick' status.
Internal Twitter sources and correspondence allegedly indicate that the company will increase the cost of its Twitter Blue premium subscription to $19.99 per month, as first reported by The Verge. Verification will then become conditional on subscription to this service, with existing verified users given a 90 day grace period in which to purchase a Twitter Blue plan, or lose their blue tick.
MLOps and trustworthy AI for data leaders
A data fabric approach to MLOps and trustworthy AI
The same report claimed that developers within Twitter have been told that they will be fired unless the relevant changes are implemented in time for a 7 November launch.
Twitter verification was introduced in 2009, as a means of distinguishing real accounts of notable people and companies from imposters. Today, the feature is used to denote accounts including brands and companies, news sources, activists, celebrities, sports or entertainment personalities, and content creators. There is a long list of requirements in order to become verified, but accounts as a minimum must be “authentic, notable, and active”.
It's a favoured feature for many businesses, as it not only ensures consumers can tell real brands apart from fake accounts, but also allows firms to stand apart from competitors or be seen as more ‘trusted’ by virtue of the blue tick.
Verification has also been widely relied upon to curb disinformation on the website, which notably surges whenever national elections are held or during geopolitical events, such as the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Technology newsletter Platformer had claimed that verification would only be available to Twitter Blue subscribers on Sunday, citing individuals with knowledge of Twitter’s plans. However, this report indicated this would happen while Twitter Blue remained at its current price of $4.99 per month. The same day, Musk tweeted: “The whole verification process is being revamped right now”.
The claims come just days after Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media giant for $44 billion, after months of negotiations sparked by his initial offer of $41.39 billion in April 2022. In July, Musk had attempted to pull out of the deal, asserting that Twitter had failed to provide accurate information on the number of spam accounts and bots on the website. The move prompted legal action from Twitter itself, which sought to hold Musk to his original offer, and led to a public and protracted period of negotiations culminating in Musk’s eventual commitment to buy the company.
On Thursday, 27 October Musk tweeted “the bird is freed”, indicating that the purchase had gone through. Shortly afterwards, several C-suite executives were fired by Musk, including CEO Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer (CFO) Ned Segal.
In addition to promises that his takeover of the company will lead to increased free speech across the platform, Musk also tweeted an open letter to companies who advertise on Twitter, in which he addressed their potential concerns over his goal of increased “dialogue” on the platform:
“I also very much believe that advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform you; it can show you a service or product or medical treatment that you never knew existed, but is right for you. For this to be true, it is essential to show Twitter users advertising that is as relevant as possible to their needs. Low relevancy ads are spam, but highly relevant ads are actually content!
“Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise. To everyone who has partnered with us, thank you. Let us build something extraordinary together.”
IT Pro has approached Twitter for comment.
Get the ITPro. daily newsletter
Receive our latest news, industry updates, featured resources and more. Sign up today to receive our FREE report on AI cyber crime & security - newly updated for 2023.
Rory Bathgate is Features and Multimedia Editor at ITPro, overseeing all in-depth content and case studies. He can also be found co-hosting the ITPro Podcast with Jane McCallion, swapping a keyboard for a microphone to discuss the latest learnings with thought leaders from across the tech sector.
In his free time, Rory enjoys photography, video editing, and good science fiction. After graduating from the University of Kent with a BA in English and American Literature, Rory undertook an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London. He joined ITPro in 2022 as a graduate, following four years in student journalism. You can contact Rory at email@example.com or on LinkedIn.