Elon Musk has laid out his plans for verified accounts on Twitter. As previously reported, holding onto the check mark will require a subscription to Twitter Blue, but the service will cost $8 per month rather than $20—thanks to Stephen King—and will offer several new benefits for subscribers.
Musk confirmed over the weekend that Twitter’s entire verification process was being revamped. Reports claimed it would require a subscription to Twitter Blue—the optional $4.99 per month service that gives users extra features—which would increase to $20 per month.
It appears that had been Musk’s plan, but author Stephen King was one of many verified users to speak out against it, warning he would be “gone like Enron” if it gets instituted. Musk replied that Twitter can’t rely solely on advertisers and asked if $8 per month would be better.
The Twitter owner has now confirmed Twitter Blue’s new price. “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” he tweeted.
That price will be adjusted by country, and Twitter Blue will offer several new features. Subscribers will have priority in replies, mentions, and Twitter’s search feature, something Musk says is essential to combat the platform’s spam/scam problem. Additionally, subs will be able to post long video and audio and see half as many ads as non-subscribers.
The final Twitter Blue perk will allow subscribers to bypass publishers’ paywalls, though Musk did say it will only apply to publishers willing to work with Twitter.
Without going into much detail, Musk added that Twitter Blue would also give the company a revenue stream that will be used to reward creators. Something else he failed to explain was how verification will work, beyond it being tied to Twitter Blue subscriptions. It does appear that anyone who signs up will be verified. When asked what happens if someone pays to be verified and then pretends to be a well-known figure, Musk said it’s something that already occurs frequently. He also said that there will be a secondary tag below the name of someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians.
Musk says he will explain the rationale behind the pay-for-verification system in longer form before it is implemented, adding that it is “the only way to defeat the bots & trolls.”
Cybercriminals are already taking advantage of the confusion, sending out phishing emails to verified users in an attempt to steal personal information.