Twitter's New Verification Badge Fee May Be Only Days Away

Elon Musk's controversial plan to charge verified accounts a sum of $8 per month to retain the verified badge may go into effect as early as next week. The new Twitter CEO reportedly initially floated the idea of charging $20 per month for a mandatory Twitter Blue subscription that will be required to keep the verified blue checkmark, and will also offer a bunch of other exclusive features such as a dedicated bookmarks folder and a reader mode.

The idea behind forcing a Twitter Blue subscription is obviously to boost revenues and reduce Twitter's reliance on ads, according to Musk. However, this would mark the first time that verified accounts will be required to pay to keep the blue checkmark, which has been used as a trust-building system on the platform, separating reliable sources from suspicious accounts.

So far, the badge has allowed users to check the information posted by trustworthy sources like journalists, state officials, healthcare bodies, activists, and government institutions. However, Musk sees the Twitter Blue-backed verification as a tool to weed out the bot and troll accounts that he is extremely vexed about. Notably, Musk has hastened product development at Twitter to such a frantic pace that some employees are reportedly sleeping in the office to meet deadlines. Rolling out the new — and pricier — Twitter Blue tier appears to be one of them, as it may arrive by next week.

Verified goes from trust to paid

According to a report from Bloomberg that cites internal sources, Twitter might start charging verified accounts next Monday. Accounts will reportedly be given a grace period — one alleged to be 90 days long — before they have to cough up the $8 monthly fee. Twitter is reportedly working on an annual plan, as well, which is rumored to cost $99 each year. As such, that wouldn't represent a discount, making the figure suspect.

Bloomberg journalist Kurt Wagner also shared screenshots that show the difference between verified accounts that have, and haven't, paid the Twitter Blue subscription fee. The only change will be an "Official account" label right below the username on the profile page, it seems. Verified accounts that fail to pay the fee will lose the blue checkmark privilege.

Musk says the price of the Twitter Blue subscription will be adjusted on a regional basis, with the adjustment based on the purchasing power of users in each market. It is clear that Musk is now selling the verified badge, which earlier was offered free of cost, but only after a rigorous assessment of its importance and influence. Interestingly, the official Twitter Verification help page still mentions that "Twitter does not sell the blue Verification badge," though it's safe to assume employees may not have the morale to bother with updating it.