DISCLAIMER: The article has been updated to reflect the new updates in Twitter Blue subscription pricing.
If Elon Musk has it his way then pretty soon you won’t be able to tell if it’s a real celebrity Tweeting from their account or an impostor who doesn’t mind shelling out $8 every month for a blue tick next to their name.
The coveted blue tick mark on the social media platform is now on sale, thanks to Musk’s attempts to bring in immediate revenue.
The ‘Chief Twit’ finally managed to acquire Twitter for the obscene amount of $44 billion after a prolonged and tumultuous process. It’s barely been a week and the company has been in frantic upheaval, especially after Musk unceremoniously fired CEO Parag Aggarwal, CFO Ned Sagal, and head of legal, police, trust, and safety Vijaya Gadde. He also ousted the board members to become the sole member of the board.
Amidst many changes, including imminent cuts to the company’s staff, Musk plans to hike the price of the existing Twitter Blue feature and tack on the blue tick verification in the subscription model.
Twitter Blue was an optional $4.99-a-month subscription that unlocked additional features for the subscribers. Musk plans to make it more expensive and offer the incentive that the users will get verified as well for $8-a-month. Previously, Musk had announced a $19.99 price tag for the subscription. He amended that to $8 following online backlash.
Reportedly, existing verified users will be given 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue ticks.
To expedite the process, Musk has given an ultimatum to the employees. If they do not meet the November 7 deadline for the feature, then they would be fired.
Musk did give the world a warning as to what they could expect from his acquisition as he had Tweeted about revamping the verification process entirely.
The verified celebrities are not having it.
Author Stephen King made his displeasure with the news clear with a Tweet where he warned that he would be leaving the platform if the paid verification feature gets instituted.
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
Celebrities like Josh Gad and Amber Tamblyn agreed with the author and Retweeted in support.
Musk’s takeover of the platform has not gone down well so far.
The self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” had promised more freedom for people to express their thoughts in whatever way they want on the platform but had also assured advertisers that it won’t be as radical as people were fearing it to be.
Turns out, Musk’s assurances were for nought as hate speech spiked sharply on the social media platform following his takeover. This prompted celebrities like Shonda Rhimes and Grammy winner Sara Bareilles to announce that they’re quitting the platform.
Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022
What do you think of Musk’s decision?