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The new Twitter ownership is leaning towards introducing an ‘unpopular’ paid subscription service for account verification.
Following his successful Twitter takeover, businessman Elon Musk has begun with a few changes, including a subscription-based model for user account verification. According to the Tesla CEO, users may soon have to pay to verify their Twitter accounts. Musk said this price would be $8 but could vary depending on the country.
Musk also said there would be a few other perks to subscription in addition to obtaining the little blue Twitter checkmark. These include long-form video and audio posting, priority in replies, mentions and searches, and fewer ads.
Reports also state that existing verified users on Twitter will lose their blue checkmarks if they do not pay for the new plan.
Musk’s proposed subscription service for Twitter account verification suggests that anyone should be able to obtain it now, provided they pay. Condemning Twitter’s seemingly prior practice of ascribing verification status to some users, the outspoken billionaire tweeted:
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullsh*t. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”
Musk believes this change grants Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators. According to him, this development will boost subscriptions and make the microblogging platform less reliant on ads. Furthermore, the Tesla chief says users will be able to bypass paywalls for publishers willing to work with Twitter, using the subscription service. However, Musk did not explain how this would work.
Users are Displeased About Proposed Twitter Subscription Model
An overwhelming number of users currently oppose the idea of a paid subscription for account verification. For instance, more than 80% of Twitter users who participated in a recent poll said they would not pay for the verification status. In addition, 10% also stated that they would be willing to pay $5 (less than the proposed $8 fee) for the checkmark.
One reason for such substantial user concern is how the verification business model might facilitate scammers. According to these concerned users, this easy-to-access, available-to-all, paid-for verification concept would provide a legitimate cover for scammers to operate.
Some also suggest that introducing a paid subscription opens the floodgates for further fee increases down the line. Musk had initially suggested that the verification should cost $20 per month. To this, eminent American author Stephen King tweeted:
“If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron”.
The bestselling horror, sci-fi, and suspense author is not the only one to contemplate leaving Twitter over various causes. Since Musk assumed ownership of the social media platform, a growing number of celebrities have abandoned, or are in the process of abandoning, the platform. They include Sara Bareilles, Toni Braxton, Shonda Rhimes, Mick Foley, Erik Larsen, Brian Koppelman, and Alex Winter.
A central bone of contention among these aggrieved celebrities is Twitter’s controversial stance on free speech. In addition, Musk also teased plans to reinstate the accounts of banned users, including former US President Donald Trump.