Twitter users may need to pay up to 20$, or approximately Sh2,400, to earn and keep their verification badge. Accounts with existing badges will have ninety days to subscribe to Twitter Blue and pay up otherwise, their badges will be removed. This comes hot on the heels of Tesla's CEO Elon Musk's controversial acquisition of the social media giant platform.
Twitter Blue is a premium subscription service that, for $19.99, offers customizable icons, the ability to undo or bookmark tweets and a 'reader mode' to let a user read long threads more easily. However, the feature has been met with struggles such as limited interest and a too-niche audience.
The Twitter community has received this news with collective skepticism. Most verified accounts have started lamenting the potential loss of that coveted blue check mark.
Verified Twitter user Quinn Nelson wonders why he has to pay for the blue badge.
"I'm already the product, why would I pay for something so insignificant? Verification does little to prevent bot confusion so what am I getting other than a badge? Nonsensical," he said in a recent tweet.
Another verified Twitter user, Sam Trabuco, tweeted, 'Is it possible to get a verification badge that's better than other people's?'
Most users are of the opinion that it's Musk's way of doing things. '
"He is a businessman, after all," read a tweet.
However, some users are reading impending doom into this move, with one @taraaustralis calling it one "of the many nails" adding to the death of Twitter.
She adds, "It seems that Elon Musk is all about free speech as long as he can charge for it."
This move calls into question what the meaning of the verification badge will be moving forward. At the time of writing this, the blue badge was used to assure users that an account of public interest was authentic.