Elon Musk, who now owns Twitter, has issued his first request to his staff: either meet his deadline to establish paid verification on Twitter or quit.
According to persons familiar with the subject and internal email viewed by The Verge, the instruction is to convert Twitter Blue, the company’s optional $4.99 per month subscription that unlocks more services, into a more expensive subscription that validates users.
The new Twitter Blue subscription will cost $19.99, as of right now, according to Twitter. Verified users would have 90 days to subscribe under the existing arrangement to keep their blue checkmark. On Sunday, it was announced to the team members that failure to launch the functionality by November 7 would result in termination.
In the months before his acquisition, Musk made it plain that he planned to change the way Twitter validates accounts and manages bots. He tweeted on Sunday that “the entire verification process is currently being revised.”
The whole verification process is being revamped right now
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
The latest benefit, allowing users to edit tweets within a 30-minute window after sending them, was added to Twitter Blue when it launched in the middle of 2021.
Musk has already explored several strategies for increasing Twitter’s revenue. Shortly after announcing his original deal to purchase Twitter in April, Musk hinted that the social media platform would charge “commercial/government users” a fee.
Musk tweeted on May 3 that the Freemasons’ “ultimate tragedy was giving away their stonecutting talents for free.” “Twitter will always be free for casual users, but there may be a small fee for users in business or government.”
It’s possible that Musk’s plans to charge for Twitter verification were leaked to the Verge as a test run to see how much people might be prepared to pay to have their accounts verified. Tech entrepreneur and investor Jason Calacanis, who collaborates with Musk at Twitter in some way, polled users on how much they would be willing to pay to verify their accounts. The options were $5, $10, or $15 per month, or “wouldn’t pay.” Right now, 81% of respondents answered they would not pay anything.
Billy Markus, a co-creator of Dogecoin, tweeted a joke about the information on Sunday under the handle Shibetoshi Nakamoto: “SOURCES: The top tier of the new Twitter blue verification function will grant you a crown icon and the authority to ban any user.
There will be 69 tiers in total. The price is $420,000,000. Elon Musk threatened to play Nickelback in the office if the Twitter team didn’t finish it by Monday. Musk said, “Oh my, all our nefarious intentions have been revealed!!” because he enjoys jokes and memes.