High-profile Twitter users may have to pay for the coveted blue check on Twitter.
On Sunday, Twitter’s new CEO, Elon Musk, posted a cryptic tweet regarding the social media platform’s upcoming verification process.
“The whole verification process is being revamped right now,” the 51-year-old multi-billionaire wrote.
The whole verification process is being revamped right now
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
The South Africa native is reportedly looking for ways to monetize the site quickly after spending $44 billion purchasing the popular social media platform in a deal finalized last week. Musk, the world’s richest man, plans to create a paywall via a subscription service to charge owners of verified accounts to keep the benefit.
According to The Verge, verified Twitter users will be required to pay $19.99 for an enhanced Twitter Blue subscription. Current blue check owners will have 90 days to get with the new program or risk losing the coveted badge.
Musk intends to launch the new feature by November 7, and he also issued a cautionary warning to the platform’s employees– putting them under immense pressure. The staff must look for new jobs if the tech team fails to meet the deadline.
There haven’t been established guidelines regarding how verified government agencies, politicians or businesses will be affected. Still, Musk made it clear that they should pay to use the platform.
Reactions to Musk’s tweeted initiative varied.
The verification was never meant to be a credibility standard, clearly being there for major accounts that were at threat of being impersonated, so you knew this really was “X” musician or actor or whatever.
Liberals turned it into a sign of credibility over those without.
— R.P. Enheim (@RPEnheim) October 31, 2022
Elon Musk is already making Twitter more fun.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) October 31, 2022
Verification was pretty funny. I’d get denied then Twitter verification would @ me letting me know I was denied then they would delete the tweet🤣😂 in a 3 mintue time span.
— itsagundam (@GundamIsHere) October 31, 2022
Destruction for blue ticked accounts pic.twitter.com/2F8HOpUalb
— Masala Dose – ಮಸಾಲೆ ದೋಸೆ (@DosaSpeaks) October 31, 2022
Some users called the billionaire out.
To what end? You can charge 2k for a blue tag and it will not get back a penny of your losses since you bought this diminished platform to bolster your frail ego. I used to have a decent opinion of you, now – just pity.
— OriginalEugien (@OriginalEugien) October 31, 2022
And who is pulling the strings of the so called “verification” process, YOU?
You have proven yourself to be unhinged, untrustful as it can get.
— awell (@ariewellner) October 31, 2022
Please don’t do a pay to play. Defeats purpose of verification. You also have millions of users in global south that can’t access paid services because your payment systems don’t allow.
— Rebecca Enonchong, FREng (@africatechie) October 31, 2022