Elon Musk relaunches new paid subscription service Twitter
The company activated the subscription service gradually during the day.
One of the biggest concerns for Twitter users who are willing to pay money is that their accounts receive a blue verification mark for individuals, gold for corporate accounts, and gray for government accounts.
In early November, the first version of the subscription service was launched, but it crippled the platform with a large number of accounts claiming to represent certain people or companies.
The service was immediately suspended and its restart was delayed several times.
However, this time Twitter tightened the conditions for obtaining account verification, as the user had to open their account at least 90 days ago and link it to a real, not a “fake” phone number.
In addition, the user must activate their account at least once during the last month and not change their main photo or account name during the past week.
Users who have previously obtained an authentication token can keep it without paying anything, according to the terms posted by Twitter.
The new subscription service will be available first in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK for $8 per month or $11 for Apple iOS devices.
The platform did not provide an official explanation for the difference between the two prices, but Elon Musk has previously criticized the profit (30%) that Apple makes from the amounts users spend through the App Store.
The service should allow Twitter, which Musk acquired for $44 billion in late October, to diversify its advertising-based revenue.
However, ad revenues have declined in recent months due to the economic downturn, while a large number of advertisers have been frustrated by Musk’s acquisition of the platform, fearful of finding their ads inconsistent content.
Musk fired half of the platform’s employees, including those in charge of content oversight, and reactivated the accounts of suspended individuals like Donald Trump.
Musk posted a series of controversial tweets over the weekend attacking former Twitter head of trust and safety Yoel Roth, neutral names that do not indicate a person’s gender, and Joe Biden’s pandemic adviser Anthony Fauci.
The Tesla and SpaceX owner also tried to gain attention by promoting for ten days what he called “Twitter files,” which is a euphemism for internal documents that purportedly clarify content moderation issues that have sparked controversy.
“I don’t understand what Musk is trying to do with his statements,” commented Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies, adding, “Perhaps this is a strategy to get more people and then sell more subscriptions.”
Milanesi considered Musk’s strategy controversial.
And she added that the billionaire “wants to be seen as a person who saves democracy, but can he really do this, for example, in relation to those who oppose vaccines?”
On Monday evening, Elon Musk dissolved the Trust and Safety Council, an advisory body made up of experts outside of Twitter who help set the company’s oversight policy, the Washington Post and CNN report.