Only a few days after Elon Musk, the newly appointed CEO of Twitter, floated changes to the company’s system for verifying user accounts, including the possibility of charging $8 per month for the privilege, it appears that Twitter has started rolling out a new tier of Twitter Blue, its premium subscription service, which reflects some of Musk’s suggestions.
The updated Twitter Blue will add the blue verification checkmark that was previously reserved for accounts that applied through Twitter’s free verification process, according to an in-app iOS notification spotted by TechCrunch. The upgraded Twitter Blue will start at $7.99 per month. Other advantages promised as “coming soon” include the capacity to post longer videos to Twitter, “half the ads” visible by non-paying Twitter users, and what appears to be “twice as relevant” adverts (Blue previously deleted ads entirely).
By the way, it’s unclear just how long the videos can be. The verbiage describing the new Twitter Blue is vague. Musk, however, stated in a tweet this afternoon that the technical restriction for 1080p video is currently 42 minutes, but he anticipates that this month’s limit will be increased.
What’s not clear is whether users who are already verified on Twitter would lose that status if they don’t pay the $7.99 monthly fee. Although The Verge reported that Twitter was considering removing verification badges from accounts that don’t pay for Twitter Blue within 90 days of the new plan’s launch, the notification’s language makes it seem like this won’t be the case.
In any event, priority ranking for “quality content” will be offered by the updated, more expensive Twitter Blue, which also promises to increase Blue customers’ exposure in replies, mentions, and search. The first tab of the Twitter app’s updated notifications screen by default shows tweets from verified accounts. It will take time to determine whether Twitter’s assertion that this will “lower the visibility of frauds, spam, and bots” is accurate.
Musk had previously stated that Twitter, which recently discontinued support for the ad-free content provided under Blue, will develop a new programme for publishers eager to cooperate with the firm to get around paywalls. The programme doesn’t seem to have made it into the new Blue, at least not at launch, if Musk plans to carry out the suggestion.
The new Twitter Blue, which is initially only available on iOS in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, comes after mass layoffs at Twitter that affected about half of the company’s workforce, including personnel on crucial human rights, accessibility, AI ethics, and curation teams. Twitter faces an estimated $1 billion in interest payments annually on its $13 billion in debt, according to Musk, who also argues that the firm must make the cuts in addition to introducing new paid features in order to become profitable.
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