Musk’s Twitter is updating its app to start charging $8 for a blue tick

Musk’s Twitter is updating its app to start charging $8 for a blue tick

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

The change comes a week after Musk acquired the social media company in a $44 billion deal. Billionaire, entrepreneur and CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla (TSLA.O) cut half the staff on Twitter and promised to start charging users more.

In an update for Apple iOS devices, Twitter said those who “sign up now” for $7.99 a month can get a blue tick next to their usernames, “just like the celebrities, companies and politicians you already follow.”

Before Musk took over, blue checkmarks next to a person’s username meant that Twitter had verified that the account belonged to the person or company claiming it. It was not immediately clear how or if Twitter planned to verify a user’s identity without charging a fee.

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

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

Twitter’s new boss marked updates earlier this week in its effort 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 verified service will be available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

“As soon as we confirm it works well in an initial set of countries and finish the translation work, it will be live worldwide,” 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” at Twitter.

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

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

From Saturday update on Twitter Blue remained at the old price of $4.99.

Shortly after the update became available to users, Twitter’s executive director of early stage products Esther Crawford said the new service was not yet available.

“The new Blue isn’t available yet – the sprint to our launch continues, but some people may see us making updates as we test and roll out changes in real time,” she said in tweet.

Earlier this week, Crawford went viral after retweeting a photo of herself sleeping on the office floor at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters following Musk’s takeover.

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

Additional reporting by Megan Davies; Sneha Bhowmik in Bengaluru; Edited by Daniel Wallis and Ken Lee

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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