Twitter Delaying $7.99 Verification Rollout, Says Report
Twitter is holding off on giving blue verification checkmarks to users who purchase its revamped $7.99/month Twitter Blue subscription until November 9 — reports The New York Times.
The information comes from an internal memo reviewed by the publication. According to the memo, Twitter’s management has decided to delay rolling out the new verification checkmarks because of Tuesday’s midterm elections.
The new Twitter Blue subscription, a brainchild of freshly-crowned Twitter overlord Elon Musk and his team, bundles account verification, fewer ads, and several other features for the price of $7.99 a month. However, it also allows anyone with $8 to spend to get a verified Twitter account, increasing the potential for bad actors to spread misinformation.
On Saturday, one Twitter employee raised a question in an internal Slack channel as to why the social network was “making such a risky change before elections, which has the potential of causing election interference.”
The pay-to-verify system Twitter is implementing could contribute to confusion leading into and on Election Day. A manager working on Twitter’s reworked verification badge project informed employees on Sunday that “we’ve made the decision to move the launch of this release to Nov. 9, after the election.”
An iOS Twitter app update with the new $7.99 subscription has already started rolling out to users, although the subscription itself hasn’t gone live just yet. That said, a launch is expected imminently.
While it looks like new Twitter Blue subscribers will start getting their blue checkmarks come Wednesday, Musk said on Saturday that existing verified accounts won’t lose their blue checkmark until a couple of months after the new subscription is rolled out.
Will we lose our verification status right away ? What is the timeline for the changes to be implemented ?
— Aaron Cohn (@aaroncohn30) November 5, 2022
Twitter is also baking a new feature into Blue that will let users post longer videos on the platform. Musk has said that Twitter will pay video creators a higher percentage of ad revenue from their content than YouTube.
The Twitter Blue overhaul is only one of the many major changes Musk has planned for the platform.
He also wants to rush out new features like “Paywalled Video,” and introduce creator monetization for all forms of content. Musk has even instructed Twitter staff to find $1 billion USD in annual infrastructure savings. To top it all off, Twitter will have to enact all of these orders with half as many employees, since Musk laid off 50% of Twitter’s workforce on Friday.