Musk’s announcement was not well received by many users, who were outraged by the move. Many long-time users tagged Musk, calling it a disheartening move that could drastically reduce the number of daily users.
Famous author Stephen King, who has more than 6.9 million Twitter followers, used an expletive to express his outrage. “$20 a month to keep my blue check? They should pay me. If instituted, I’m gone like Enron.
Responding to the famed “It” novel writer, Musk asked if instead of $20, which had been decided earlier, $8 was the right price for a blue tick subscription. “(W)e have to pay the bills one way or another! Twitter can’t rely entirely on advertisers,” he said. To that, King replied, “(i)this n it’s not the money, it’s the principle of the thing.”
Musk said blue tick subscriptions will not be the same from country to country and the price will be adjusted by country in proportion to purchasing power parity.
“You’ll also get: priority in replies, mentions and search, which is essential for defeating spam/scams. Ability to post long videos and audio, half the ads,” he said .
Musk said the company would also allow publishers to bypass the paywall if they wanted to work with the platform. “It will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators,” he said.
Amid a barrage of criticism, Musk posted another tweet saying, “All complainers, keep complaining, but it’ll cost $8.”
The billionaire said there will be a secondary tag under the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians.
Several reports suggest that Twitter may also remove the blue tick from current users who will not subscribe to the new subscription policy in 90 days. Musk’s plans to boost Twitter revenue come as the company has been losing money for most of its history.
With Musk at the helm, he wants to change that by making it a paid service rather than a free-for-all platform. In previous statements, the billionaire said that with his $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter, he was “clearly paying too much” for the company.
Notably, if someone wanted a blue tick so far, they had to fill out an online application form. The blue tick, which in recent times had become something of a status symbol for many, was first rolled out to celebrities, political leaders and journalists, as their identity could be targeted by scammers. Musk’s latest move, many say, will bring a level playing field for everyone on the platform.
Musk’s idea behind offering a paid blue tick service also fits into his vision to end Twitter’s reliance on advertising as a primary source of revenue. Shortly after Musk acquired the company, Tesla’s main competitor in the electric vehicle business, General Motors, announced plans to suspend advertisements on the site. Many other big brands have suspended their ads on the platform as new management under Musk takes control.
However, Musk tried to allay their concerns as many feared his sweeping ideas would contrast with how the platform has been run for years and could therefore hurt their income. In a lengthy note, unlike his usual style of writing cryptic little one-liners on Twitter, Musk said Twitter will aspire to be the most respected advertising platform in the world, which will strengthen brands and grow their business.
“To everyone who has partnered with us, thank you. Let’s build something amazing together.” Musk said he “absolutely” believes that “advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform you; it can show you a service, product or medical treatment you didn’t know about. existence but which suits you”.
To make that a reality, Musk says, it’s essential to show Twitter users ads that are as relevant to their needs as possible. “Lowly relevant ads are spam, but highly relevant ads are actually content!” he asserted.