Twitter has launched an revamped subscription service that allows anyone to pay for verification badges.
The platform’s iOS app update rolling out Saturday shows a new look Twitter Blue is live now, and a checkmark on your account is listed as a benefit that pays $7.99 per month.
It’s available in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the update says the service will offer: “Power of the People: Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies and politicians you already follow. .”
Other features promised “coming soon” include half the number of ads, the ability to post longer videos, and the prioritization of content posted on the platform.
The Blue Tick verification system was previously designed to help users identify real, influential users on the platform, such as government figures, athletes, journalists and brands.
But the new owner of Twitter, Elon Muskappears to be looking to diversify the company’s revenue streams after he took over for $44 billion.
“Too many traditional “verified” checkmarks are issued, often arbitrary, so they are *not* verified in effect. You can now buy as many products as you want with Google Search.
“Piggybacking the payment system plus Apple/Android is a better way to ensure verification.
“Once we confirm it’s working well in the initial set of countries and we’re done with translations, it will roll out globally,” Musk said in a tweet Saturday.
However, the new Twitter Blue service is already available, but not yet live, according to a tweet Saturday from Twitter’s head of early product, Esther Crawford.
“The new Blue isn’t live yet – our release sprint continues, but some may see us update as we test and push changes in real time,” she tweeted.
The rollout of the new feature comes a day after the social network began laying off thousands of employees around the world.
Employees facing unemployment in the UK have three days to nominate a representative for formal consultation on their employment issues.
Workers in the UK have been told that companies plan to notify and consult employee representatives ahead of potential redundancies, as required by employment law.