Getting that blue checkmark on Twitter may be soon be expensive.
One of Elon Musk’s first projects as owner of Twitter Inc. will be to turn Twitter Blue, the social network’s $4.99-a-month subscription plan, into a $19.99-a-month plan that exclusively verifies users, according to a report Sunday by The Verge. The news was first reported by Casey Newton’s Platformer newsletter.
According to the report, Twitter users who are currently verified would have 90 days to sign up for a paid subscription, or else lose their blue-check status. The Verge added that Twitter developers have been given a Nov. 7 deadline to launch such a feature or be fired.
Also see: Twitter braces for mass layoffs under new owner Elon Musk
Musk reportedly wants half of Twitter’s overall revenue to come from subscriptions; currently, nearly all of its revenue comes from ads.
The blue checkmarks are currently assigned by Twitter for free to verified users — often journalists, celebrities and politicians — in an effort to highlight trusted sources and prevent misinformation from copycat accounts.
It was unclear how many users would pay $20 a month for the blue checkmark, and how it could affect the spread of misinformation on Twitter if non-subscription accounts were no longer verified.
Concerns had already been raised earlier Sunday about how Twitter will now handle misinformation after Musk himself tweeted an unfounded conspiracy theory about the recent assault against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, from a website known for posting fake news.
A number of Twitter users Sunday openly mocked the idea of paying to be verified:
Others noted that there are very good reasons for verification: