Twitter aims to start charging users for blue check verification badges as soon as next week, as part of new owner Elon Musk’s plan to further monetize the social media platform, according to a new report.
The badges will be part of an $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription, an increase of $3 over the current $4.99 per month price, which will also include priority in replies, mentions, and search, the ability to post long video and audio, and half as many ads as non-paying users.
For users who already have the verification badge, such as celebrities, journalists, and other notable influencers, “chief twit” Musk intends to give them a “multi-month grace period” before they will either need to pay for the badge or lose it, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the plans. Twitter will reportedly allow government accounts to stay verified, as well as those in regions where Twitter cannot charge payment.
The company also plans to expand access to its edit function, which is currently limited to paying Twitter Blue subscribers. All Twitter account holders are expected to be given access to the long-requested edit feature, and that could also happen as early as next week, although the timing for Twitter’s plans could still change, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
The plan to charge for the blue verification badge has been met with controversy, with some prominent holders of the badge speaking out against the move and saying they won’t pay for it.
Some critics have accused Musk of “charging for free speech,” in the sense that users who don’t pay up will have their posts diminished or silenced. Others however have supported the move, agreeing with Musk that it will help weed out bots and other spam accounts.
Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Musk is working rapidly to monetize Twitter, as the social network has historically not been particularly profitable. In addition to introducing changes to Twitter Blue, Musk has also said that he plans to bring back video service Vine. Rumors suggest that Musk has shifted more than 50 Tesla engineers over to Twitter to work on the new features.