Twitter Users Balk At Paying $8 A Month For Musk’s Blue Check

Twitter users balk at paying $8 a month for Musk's green check

The blue tick on Twitter is now a paid-only service. (Represent)

Twitter Inc.’s new owner, Elon Musk, is getting rid of the social network’s free legacy labels as of April 1 and replacing them with a new name he thinks will make the platform the best. should be more equitable and generate much-needed revenue. However, many users are balking at paying the $8 a month fee, and some say the pay-to-play system, dubbed Twitter Blue, will help pranksters, pranksters or criminals easily pretending to be someone they’re not – potentially facilitating the use of the site to spread misinformation and sow discord.

Musk bought Twitter in late October, promising to make it a haven for free speech and battling bots that he says are degrading the social network’s user experience. One of his early promises was that people who had previously been “verified” for free – a prominent badge that let others know that you were real and possibly famous – would lose their status. their. Since Musk took over, the proliferation of derogatory statements and difficulties in verifying and censoring content have led hundreds of advertisers to withdraw their spend from the platform, driving ad sales. sale 50%. Paid verification as part of Twitter Blue is an attempt to make up for that lost revenue.

The opinion of Twitter users depends on the value of the checkmark and whether it’s worth the $8 a month price – down to $84 if you buy the whole year, but $11. la per month if you buy through the Apple or Google app store. Some users said they would refuse to sign up for Twitter Blue because they didn’t want to support Musk, the world’s second-richest person, or because they objected to paying for the reach they could once earn through membership. accumulate. Others are willing to trade for the credibility and exposure that comes with verification.

Likewise, businesses will have to choose whether to pay thousands of dollars to verify their accounts – under the new system, organizations will pay $1,000 per month for verification, with some exceptions, plus $50 per employee also checked – or cashed in on the risk of imitation on the platform. The potential danger of verification denial is that fake accounts with paid check marks could pose as any business, including financial companies or media organisations, and then continue scam or spread misinformation. In November, when Musk opened up verification for paying users, Twitter accounts with checkmarks began impersonating companies like Eli Lilly & Co., PepsiCo Inc., Nintendo Co. — and even Musk himself.

By charging for access to visibility and reach, essential features of the social network, Twitter risks alienating users, some analysts and observers say. who always have those features for free, and the absorption may not be enough to prevent the loss. on advertising revenue. So far, less than 300,000 people have signed up, according to Information.

“It’s unlikely that most people with the old blue checkmark will care enough to start paying for them,” said Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg. “The revenue from Twitter Blue won’t make up for the ad revenue loss Twitter has incurred since Musk took over,” she said.


Selling checkmarks also has the potential to minimize the voices of unregistered users. Twitter was once seen as a public forum where anyone could hear their voice, and Musk has supported the platform as a bulwark against censorship. But if Twitter is a public space, “Why do you have an entrance fee?” Rick Smith, host of the political podcast The Rick Smith Show. “Why do you say, well, if you pay me eight bucks, we’ll advertise what you have to say versus everyone else?”

Smith, who has more than 280,000 followers, was verified under the legacy process, but said he wouldn’t pay Twitter Blue to keep his check mark. “There’s no way you’re making me pay Elon a dime,” he said. He says his podcast team has been exploring emerging alternatives like Post and Mastodon in the event that users leave Twitter. “That blue check used to mean something,” Smith said. “Now it’s just an emoji on your name.”

The impact on some accounts, such as financial institutions, can be severe. The cryptocurrency industry has been a prime target for fraud because the industry is so new. For example, if a verified account could impersonate a crypto brokerage, it could change the entire market by tweeting misinformation. And although Musk claims that the system is intended to prevent the proliferation of AI bots, he hasn’t explained how it works, because those who set up bot accounts may be willing to pay to make them look legit. Paradoxically, Musk also said verified bot accounts are fine, “if they adhere to the terms of service and don’t impersonate a human.”

The new verification process benefits users who previously had trouble engaging on the platform.

One example is Josh Larky, director of fantasy and gambling at Team 33, who has more than 30,000 followers on Twitter. Although Larky was an employee of a verified media organization, he was never verified under the old system. “The old process didn’t work for me,” he said. When given the opportunity to be verified with Twitter Blue, he felt it would be foolish not to capitalize on instant credibility. “People are often attracted to social media accounts with a blue check mark,” he said.

Kaleb Ivy, who signed up for Twitter Blue when it first launched, immediately noticed an increase in engagement on his tweets. When he briefly unsubscribed from the service a few weeks later, “It looks like my posts were intentionally buried. The interaction didn’t exist,” he said. Ivy, a casual Twitter user who was stuck at 700 followers before signing up for Blue, also saw her follower count grow and now has more than 1,000.

LaDarius Brown, a writer for Sportskeeda who signed up for Twitter Blue a few months ago, has seen his following increase dramatically since purchasing the service. Brown, who now has more than 8,000 followers, has grown from an average of 50 new followers per month to more than 250 per month. “It surprised me,” he said.

Twitter Blue existed before Musk took over but offered more limited features, such as the ability to edit tweets or change the design of the app icon. The Blue subscription now includes access to text-message-based authentication, tweets up to 4,000 characters, and half as many ads. To be verified, in addition to purchasing Twitter Blue, users need to have an active account with a verified phone number, display name, and profile picture.

However, Twitter’s legacy verification process, although free, is much more robust. To receive a checkmark, users fill out an application with their name and proof of identity, and answer a few questions about why they’re notable. Once a person is verified, they will see a blue badge and check mark appear next to their name, which has become the norm on social media platforms.

“In theory, there is an approval process to verify Twitter Blue,” said Jane Manchun Wong, an engineer and tech blogger who said she was Blue’s first paying customer when the service was introduced. in 2021. “Actually, I wonder how that will play out.”

When Evan Harris, a Blue subscriber since March 24, applied for verification, the process was surprisingly easy. “I find it interesting not to be asked any questions or asked to fill out a questionnaire,” he said. Brown, writer for Sportskeeda, said he was approved for his blue check mark within 48 hours.

“I think the new process is beneficial for some accounts that may not be noticed in the daily public eye, but are very popular in some sub-genres like gaming, fantasy, football, blogging. ,” Harris said.

News organizations such as the New York Times, CNN and the Los Angeles Times have said they generally don’t plan to support Twitter verification or refunds to employees who paid to receive checks, raising concerns about possible checks. impersonation and misinformation under fake accounts. In November, when the new feature was announced, Bloomberg News said it would not reimburse employees for Twitter Blue accounts. Max Collins, of the band Eve 6 and columnist for BuzzFeed, said he’s even started blocking accounts with a paid blue check mark.

Many popular Twitter users also frankly expressed their feelings about the cost of verification. “Guess my blue check will disappear soon because if you knew me I wouldn’t pay $5,” said basketball legend LeBron James, @KingJames verified @KingJames has 58.2 million followers follow, tweeted on Friday. Famous Star Trek actor William Shatner asked Musk directly via tweet: “Hey @elonmusk, what’s up with blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter?” he posted on March 25. “Are you telling me I have to pay for something you gave me for free?”

Musk’s response was that there should be no other standard for celebrities. Shatner retorted that he would wait until a “blue false check” incident caused Musk to rethink the system: “Until then I’ll use #no-test,” he said. write.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)


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