An update on Twitter for iOS appears to include a subscription service that enables iPhone users to pay $8 to get/retain their verification symbol, otherwise known as the blue checkmark.
The service, which some users began noticing on Saturday, is in line with the company’s plan to monetise the blue checkmark following Elon Musk’s demands.
Initially, there were reports that the new service was live for iPhone users. But Twitter’s Director of Product Management, Esther Crawford, issued a tweet clarifying that the service was still being tested.
“The new Blue isn’t live yet — the sprint to our launch continues but some folks may see us making updates because we are testing and pushing changes in real time. The Twitter team is legendary. New Blue… coming soon!”
The new Blue isn’t live yet — the sprint to our launch continues but some folks may see us making updates because we are testing and pushing changes in real-time. The Twitter team is legendary. New Blue… coming soon! https://t.co/ewTSTjx3t7
Nairametrics understands that when Twitter Blue eventually launches, users who subscribe to the service will, among other benefits, automatically become ‘verified’. And those who are already verified can also use the service to retain their verification.
$8 for Twitter Blue: The new subscription service marks an end to Twitter’s long-standing verification system whereby only public figures and entities could get verified. Musk, who reluctantly acquired the social media firm last week, quickly announced that he was overhauling the old system.
Concerns by Users: News about the overhaul was met with criticisms by many users who worried about its implications. The new update on iOS does not mention anything about a verification process, meaning that anyone who can afford $8 could easily subscribe to get the blue checkmark. And this could give room for impersonators to get ‘verified’.
Some others have accused Elon Musk of trying to turn the blue tick into a status symbol, as against a means of authentication.
Also, other users have wondered why Elon Musk is so eager to do away with the old verification system even though he had always been vocal with claims that Twitter was rife with spam accounts. In other words, introducing payment as means of getting the blue checkmark could make it possible for spam accounts to get theirs too. And this could give room for spam accounts and impersonation to thrive on the platform.
The old verification system, which started in 2009, only verified about 423,000 Twitter users worldwide. That’s because the verification process was meticulous.
Despite the criticism against its overhaul, Elon Musk has insisted on going ahead with the new subscription plan.
Elon’s controversial moves: As Nairametrics previously reported, Musk’s decision to introduce paid verification system is just one of the many controversial moves he has made since he acquired the company. For one, the whole world was shocked when, on Friday, he went ahead with plans to fire half of the company’s workforce. He explained that the company was incurring huge costs keeping a large workforce.
Dwindling ad revenues: There have also been long-standing concerns about Twitter’s dwindling ad revenues. And this could justify some of the drastic decisions Elon Musk has made since he bought the company. Interestingly, more companies are pulling their advert budgets with the company amid Musk’s recent controversial moves.