The businessman says Twitter "needs to make money somehow".
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New Twitter owner Elon Musk has confirmed that the plans to revamp verification on the social media platform include introducing verification as a paid service.
The confirmation comes amid reports that Musk wants to charge $20 for Twitter Blue, which will include verification as part of the subscription.
Twitter Verification as a Paid Product
According to The Verge, a directive issued at Twitter aims to see paid verification launched in early November. Rather than making it a direct purchase, verified accounts will be required to subscribe to Twitter Blue in order to retain their blue badge.
The Verge reports that people familiar with the matter, and internal correspondence, indicate that verified users will have 90 days to subscribe before losing the blue checkmark on their profile.
Musk has previously tweeted that the verification process was being revamped. However, on 1 November 2022, he confirmed the existence of plans to make verification a subscription service. This confirmation came in response to a tweet by author Stephen King.
King has said that he would not pay to keep his blue checkmark. In response, Musk told the author that: "We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers."
Musk then pitched a price of $8, which is still nearly double the cost of a Twitter Blue subscription. He added that he would explain the rationale to the plans before they are implemented.
He also positioned the plans as the "only way to defeat the bots & trolls".
However, users have balked at the idea of Twitter verification requiring a subscription. The blue badge has previously been used to designate official organizations, journalists, and people of note such as celebrities, politicians, and activists.
Currently, Twitter Blue includes the ability to edit tweets. It also includes features such as undoing tweets, bookmark folders, and custom navigation for iOS users.
Could Twitter Verification Fundamentally Change?
Turning Twitter verification into a paid product would fundamentally change the nature of the blue badge. While it may see a rise in subscriptions for Twitter Blue, it may also devalue the status of the blue checkmark entirely and undermine its entire point.