In the few days since completing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk has moved swiftly to make changes to the company from the inside out, including mass layoffs, changing the homepage, renaming the Super Follows feature (it now blandly reads ‘Subscriptions’), and giving employees their first ultimatum: Meet his deadline to introduce paid verification on Twitter, or they will be fired.
The verification directive is to change Twitter Blue, the company’s optional, $ 4.99-a-month subscription that unlocks additional features, into a more expensive subscription that also verifies users with the coveted blue checkmark.
Currently, Twitter is planning to charge $19.99 for the new Twitter Blue subscription. According to The Verge, Twitter employees working on the project were that they must meet a deadline of November 7th to launch the feature, or they must pack up and leave.
Under the current plan, verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their coveted blue checkmark, which is intended to distinguish credible accounts.
Stephen King does not approve.
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
Last year, Twitter launched the subscription fee for ad-free access to content from certain publishers. In the few quarters that Twitter reported earnings as a public company after that debut, advertising remained the vast majority of its revenue. Still, Musk is eager to grow subscriptions to half of the company’s overall revenue.