After the $44 billion acquisition was finalized, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now the owner and CEO of Twitter who has plans for the platform. The Verge reports that verified accounts might have to pay $20 per month to keep their blue tick verification status on the platform as early as November 7, 2022.
Earlier this year, Musk bought 10% of Twitter’s shares by investing $3 billion in the company, and in April, the company signed a merger agreement with the billionaire to acquire it for $44 billion. However, a lawsuit to honor the agreement filed by the micro-blogging company compelled Musk to close the deal.
[Update: After the news of the $20 verification monthly fee broke out, scammers began sending phishing emails to Twitter verified account holders asking them to share credentials to pay a $19.99 monthly fee in order to keep their verified status. Users must be alerted these emails are a scam as the company has not yet released the feature. Kindly do not share your credit/debit card information with anyone.]
Twitter's ongoing verification chaos is now a cybersecurity problem. It looks like some people (including in our newsroom) are getting crude phishing emails trying to trick people into turning over their Twitter credentials. pic.twitter.com/Nig4nhoXWF
— Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) October 31, 2022
Twitter’s verification checkmark paywall behind Twitter Blue
According to the report, Musk has told the company engineers to revamp Twitter’s verification process which might be paywalled behind the Blue subscription.
In 2021, the platform introduced a new paid tier in Blue which offers additional features like the Edit Tweets option, the ability to change the app’s icon, and more. But currently, it is priced at $4.99 after a 66% increase from $2.99 per month and Musk wants to jack up the price even further.
Under the proposed plan, a verification blue tick will be available to Twitter Blue subscribers for $20 per month and the current verified accounts will have 90 days to either subscribe to the service or lose their status after the feature goes into effect.
The engineers are also given an ultimatum, either to implement the new changes by November 7 or get fired. Musk on his first day as the company’s owner fired its CEO and several other employees. And the new plan is part of his effort to deal with bots on the platform.
Musk has been clear in the months leading up to his acquisition that he wanted to revamp how Twitter verifies accounts and handles bots. On Sunday, he tweeted: “The whole verification process is being revamped right now.”