Twitter Blue will now be required to have Verified Account status as the price of the optional monthly subscription service quadruples to $20 USD per month.

A major overhaul of Twitter Blue is one of the first major changes Elon Musk is making after acquiring Twitter on October 28th, 2022.

According to The Verge, Musk wants to increase the price of Twitter Blue to $19.99 USD per month.

Twitter Blue will also be required to have the Verified Account checkmark. These changes will reportedly go into effect on November 7th, 2022.

Blue is Twitter’s optional paid-subscription service. For $4.99 USD per month, Blue users get access to additional features and Beta-testing access to up-and-coming features.

Up until now, to be verified on Twitter you had to meet certain requirements and then submit an application. The process was entirely free.

Twitter users who have been enjoying their free verified checkmarks will have 90 days to subscribe to Twitter Blue. If they do not subscribe, their status will be revoked.

Keep in mind that nothing is set in stone yet, especially not the $19.99 price point.

So what does all this mean for Twitter and its users?

Locking account verification behind a paywall might seem like a blatant cash grab, but it might actually be a way to offset a loss in advertising revenue on the platform.

Musk has reportedly stated in the leadup to his purchase of the company that subscriptions could make up 50% of Twitters revenue under his leadership:

An image posted to Twitter that outlines some of Elon Musk's plans for Twitter's revenue under his leadership

Image Source

Musk has repeatedly stated that he wants to make Twitter a bastion of free speech and discussion, even for opinions that not everyone wants to hear.

Regardless of what you think of that plan, de-platforming and strict content moderation are usually a result of advertiser pressure.

Social justice pressure might not be as powerful as many want to believe.

Most major advertisers don’t want their ads to appear next to controversial topics. They want to appeal to the broadest possible audience and be as inoffensive as possible.

Simply put, free speech and being advertiser-friendly are two very different things.

Considering all that, it looks as though the new Twitter Blue is part Musk’s strategy for protecting revenue ahead of an expected advertiser exit.

Musk had stated in the past that he didn’t buy Twitter to make money. But he is a billionaire business mogul and likely doesn’t want to be running his new social media platform at a loss.

What we’re waiting to see is the scale of the expected exodus.

How many users will delete their Twitter accounts in response to Musk’s policy changes?

How many advertisers will walk away and spend their marketing budgets on potentially safer platforms?

Will locking verification behind a paywall be enough to boost Twitter Blue subscriptions, or will it just drive even more users away?

Only time will tell, but these are likely only the first of many major changes coming to the little blue bird app.

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