Elon Musk is considering charging Twitter users $20 (£17.30) a month or $240 a year for a blue tick on their account, as the world’s richest person prepares an overhaul of the social media platform.
The Tesla chief executive is planning changes to Twitter’s Blue subscription service, according to tech newsletter Platformer, including raising the $4.99 a month fee to $19.99. Users verified by the platform – who carry a blue tick flagging them as a trustworthy source – would have 90 days to sign up to Blue or lose their check mark.
Musk did not comment directly on the story but tweeted to his more than 110 million followers on Sunday that “the whole verification process is being revamped right now.”
He also flagged a Twitter poll launched on Monday morning asking Twitter users how much they would pay a month for a blue tick: $5; $10; $15; or “wouldn’t pay”. The poll was set up by the tech investor Jason Calacanis, a Musk associate who is part of a team brought in by the multibillionaire to help run the business since the $44bn takeover. A basic subscription on Netflix costs $6.99 or £4.99 a month.
Musk’s plans for Twitter since the takeover have been largely played out over his account on the platform. In another hint at a big change at the company, Musk launched a poll on Monday asking users if he should bring back Vine, the video-sharing app viewed as a precursor to TikTok but shut down by Twitter in 2016.
Musk indicated that challenging TikTok would be a motive for the move in an exchange with YouTube star Mr Beast, who wrote “if you did that and actually competed with tik tok that’d be hilarious.” Musk replied: “What could we do to make it better than TikTok?”. Twitter has 230 million users, compared with more than 1 billion on TikTok.
Musk and his team also appear to be going through internal communications sent by staff in the run-up to the takeover, after tweeting an internal sent by a senior employee in May 2022 on Monday morning.
He has also pledged to keep content policies in place and maintain bans on restricted accounts until a Twitter content moderation council, announced by the billionaire last week, has met.