Elon Musk’s Twitter has started rolling out its $7.99 per month Twitter Blue refresh a bit earlier than expected. One of its big marquee features will be the blue tick which is to say that going forward, you’ll have to pay to get verified on Twitter. There will be more perks including priority in search and ability to post longer videos but Twitter has confirmed they won’t be available at launch.
Twitter Blue with verification is launching on iOS first. It’s part of a new app update (version 9.34.3) that’s rolling out for everyone, though the service itself will be available in select countries only. These are the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. There is no word on if and when Twitter plans to bring it to more markets. (More importantly, it’s still not clear how verification will work in countries where Twitter Blue is not available.)
Also, it appears you can’t subscribe to the new Twitter Blue service just yet. Twitter is apparently “testing and pushing changes in real-time” at this point, Esther Crawford who is a product manager at the company said, adding that the “new Blue isn’t live yet.” But it should be soon enough, given that Musk has –reportedly— set a deadline of November 7 for developers to complete the task, else face getting fired.
Twitter Blue previously cost $4.99 per month. It bundled a few features like ad-free articles and –very recently— introduced an edit button for paying customers. Since Musk took over, he has taken away the ad-free article perk and there are reports that he is planning to make the edit option available for all users, regardless of whether they subscribe to Twitter Blue or not. Musk is also mulling to bring paywalled articles to Twitter while grapevine has it that paid DMs could also be on the cards.
As of now, the verified status is clearly the most hyped –also the most controversial — feature of the new Twitter Blue. Musk has argued that Twitter needs to “pay the bills” (while at the same time he wants to lower the visibility of scams, spam, and bots on the platform) which is why these changes are necessary. Part of those changes also involve Musk firing almost 50 percent of the Twitter workforce, a decision that could entail multiple lawsuits.