Twitter’s new boss, billionaire Elon Musk has finally confirmed that the micro-blogging platform will make Twitter verification a paid service. This means that anyone who wants the ‘blue tick’ will now have to pay a monthly fee of $8 to be seen as a verified account on Twitter. While the Chief Twit sees it as an exercise to "defeat spam/scam," there are many who don’t.
Taking the internet by a storm, Elon Musk Tweeted about the soon-to-be-paid blue tick and said, “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.” Clarifying that the price will be adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity, Musk also listed some ‘perks’ that the paid blue tick users may get.
In a Tweet, the billionaire wrote, “You will also get: Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam, Ability to post long video & audio, Half as many ads.”
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
Before this, a media report already claimed that Twitter Blue may soon start costing around $20 a month. While the claims of the blue tick getting paid turned out to be true, the actual cost to be incurred has been announced by SpaceX and Tesla CEO, after hard selling the same to Stephen King and many more.
On Monday, author Stephen King took to Twitter and showed his dislike for the Twitter Blue going verified. He Tweeted, “$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.”
What followed this was a ‘bargain’ in its true sense as Elon Musk jumped in and proposed an alternative amount to “pay the bills.” He said, “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”
$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
So, while the $44 billion Twitter deal may have been too expensive for the world’s richest man himself, let’s take a look at why the Chief Twit is hard selling the blue tick like a salesperson.
What is a blue tick on Twitter?
Twitter’s help page defines a ‘blue tick’ account as an indication of ‘authentic.’ It reads, “The blue Verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. To receive the blue badge, your account must be authentic, notable, and active.”
Usually, Twitter users like celebrities, politicians, academicians, government institutions, journalists and so on, apply for Twitter verification to get the blue tick. While the criterias vary from one account type to the other, the final blue badge is only delivered after Twitter’s team approves it.
Why Elon Musk wants you to pay for the blue tick?
Time and again, the Chief Twit has been known to argue for the ‘democratisation’ of Twitter, one that is specially in favour of content creators. Even with the new policy, Musk has claimed that the paid blue badge will help Twitter with a revenue stream by rewarding content creators. As he puts it, “Creators need to make a living!” Even before this, when Musk completed the deal, he Tweeted, “The bird is freed.”
But is it really about the democratisation? To put it in Elon Musk’s words, the whole idea of making the blue tick service paid is to give “power to the people,” power that will now possibly be determined by the ability to pay for the service, while the billionaire himself makes money out of this to “pay for the bills.” Additionally, Musk has also reportedly made this move as he wants to reduce Twitter’s reliance on advertising.
As soon as Musk made this announcement, many people met the same with scepticism as primarily, it may now get difficult to identify reliable accounts. Since, anyone with the ability to pay the $8 will be able to ‘buy’ the blue tick, the initial purpose of ‘earning’ the verified badge, may still be defeated.
A verified Twitter user Martin Lewis wrote, “Having campaigned against PAID-FOR scam ads for years, I'm concerned at rumours Twitter will turn the verified #blueTick into a paid-for option. Scammers, shysters, criminals are likely to be happy to pay for, and manipulate this, for a veneer of legitimacy.”
Another verified account Chris Bryant wrote, “Dear Mr Musk, I never sought a blue tick, I’m not sure whether I have one and I don’t care if you remove it (if I have it). I’m certainly not paying for your validation.”
But even after people’s scepticism, Musk has made it clear that the Twitter blue tick will now be paid and there is no going back on the same. In a recent Tweet, he wrote, “To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8.”
To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022