Now that he’s at the helm of Twitter, Elon Musk wants to charge users to retain the coveted “blue check” denoting verified status, according to a report in the technology publication The Verge.
The Verge said that Musk plans to charge $20 a month for Twitter Blue, a service that currently costs $5 monthly, and expands its features to include verifying users’ identity.
Currently verified users would have 90 days to sign up for the subscription or lose their blue check mark, the Verge reported, citing unnamed sources and internal correspondence.
The truth is that a blue checkmark, which indicates the person behind a profile is who they say they are, has become a coveted marker of status on Twitter.
“The whole verification process is being revamped right now,” Musk tweeted on Sunday.
The whole verification process is being revamped right now
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
Musk has previously outlined bold ambitions for the platform, which has struggled to broaden its user base.
His proposals include boosting subscriptions to half of the company’s revenue and growing the service to 900 million users in five years, according to reports by the New York Times.
For now, revenue from Twitter Blue, which lets users edit tweets and removes some advertising, makes up less than 8% of the company’s sales, according to Twitter’s latest earnings report.
Since Musk officially took over as Twitter’s boss on Friday, he has made a number of changes, including firing the CEO and other top executives and changing the way the site’s homepage looks for users who aren’t logged in.
He plans to cut as much as three-quarters of Twitter’s workforce, the Washington Post has reported.