Elon Musk announced on Tuesday that Twitter will launch an $8 (€8.10) monthly subscription, buying users blue tick certification and exposure to less advertising.
The social network already offers a subscription for paid features, but new-owner Musk wants to launch a more expensive and more widely adopted service to increase the platform’s income.
“The current system of lords and peasants, with those who have the blue tick and those who don’t, is bullshit, said the Telsa boss and Space X founder. “Power to the people! Blue for $8 a month.”
Musk’s offering merges Twitter Blue — an already in place $5-a-month subscription for a more comfortable reading mode and editing tools — with the ability for eligible accounts to verify and certify their identity with the blue tick.
Currently, only certain profiles can request such authenticity, including governments, companies, the media and political, cultural or sports personalities.
Badges can be revoked if they do not respect the rules of the platform.
Reactions from Twitter users were mixed. Some praised the move saying the current system was “unfair” and needed to be changed, while others questioned if verification would work if it could be brought.
Musk, who took over Twitter on Thursday, asked engineers to work tirelessly on overhauling the system.
He said subscribers would have other benefits: their tweets will appear in priority, they will be able to post longer videos and audio messages, and will be shown “half as many ads”.
The subscription price will be adjusted according to each country’s currency.
“It will also bring revenue to Twitter to reward content creators,” Musk said.
The richest man in the world has repeated since the start of his eventful takeover bid that he would shake up Twitter, saying he wanted to “help humanity”.
Concerns have surrounded Musk’s past remarks that he would be allowed banned users back onto the platform, such as former US President Donald Trump. No decisions on this have been made public.
Musk indicated in the past that profitability was not his priority.
But Twitter — whose revenue comes 90% from advertising — is far less profitable compared to its Californian neighbours Meta (Facebook, Instagram) and Google (YouTube).