Musk’s Twitter app updates app to start charging $8 for blue tick

Nov 5 (Reuters) – Twitter updated its app in Apple’s App Store on Saturday to start charging $8 for searched blue verification marks, in Elon Musk’s first major overhaul of the platform. form of social media.

The change comes a week after Musk took over the social media company in a $44 billion deal. The billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of electric car maker Tesla (TSLA.O) has cut Twitter staff in half and pledged to start charging users more.

In an update to Apple iOS devices, Twitter said those who “sign up now” for $7.99 per month can receive the blue checkmark next to their username, “just like celebrities, businesses and politicians you already follow”.

Before Musk took over, blue checkmarks next to a person’s username meant Twitter confirmed the account belonged to the person or company claiming it. It was not immediately clear how or if Twitter planned to verify the user’s identity beyond charging a fee.

According to the iOS notification, other benefits of the update include “half the ads”, the ability to post longer videos on Twitter, and priority ranking for quality content.

Twitter and Musk, via Tesla, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The new Twitter boss flagged the updates earlier this week in his drive to monetize the social media network and make it less reliant on ads. Twitter is currently free for most users.

Twitter’s update says the new service with verification will be available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

“As soon as we confirm this is working well in the initial set of countries and have completed translation work, it will be rolled out globally,” Musk said in a tweet on Saturday.

Twitter Blue will be rolling out in India in “hopefully less than a month,” Musk tweeted in response to a follower’s question.

In a separate tweet, Musk also added that “fixing search is a top priority” on Twitter.

“We can beat this,” he replied in another tweet when a user pointed out that YouTube brings creators 55% of ad revenue.

“Twitter will soon add the ability to attach long text to tweets, ending the nonsense of notebook screenshots. Followed by creator monetization for all forms of content,” Musk added in a tweet. .

On Saturday, the Twitter Blue update remained at the old price of $4.99.

Shortly after the update was made available to users, Esther Crawford, head of early-stage products at Twitter, said the new service was not live yet.

“The new Blue isn’t live yet – the sprint towards our launch continues, but some people may see us making updates because we’re testing and pushing changes in real time,” she said. in a Tweeter.

Earlier this week, Crawford went viral after retweeting a photo of herself sleeping in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters offices following Musk’s takeover.

“When your team is working around the clock to meet deadlines, sometimes you #SleepWhereYouWork.”

Additional reporting by Megan Davies; Sneha Bhowmik in Bangalore; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Ken Li

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