Twitter Inc. said it began rolling out software updates to make users pay $7.99 a month to mark their accounts with a blue check, part of Elon Musk’s early efforts to boost revenue a little more than a week after taking in common with the social media network.
Details of the latest version of the software began appearing Saturday on Apple Inc.’s App Store, promising new features added to the social network company’s previous subscription service called Twitter Blue.
“Starting today, we’re adding great new features to Twitter Blue, with more on the way soon,” the company said. Details of the update involved Twitter Blue subscribers would now get the blue check mark, which was previously handed out to certain users through a verification process to signify authenticity.
“Power to the people,” the software update said. “Your account will get a blue check mark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.”
Mr. Musk, who completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter last week, is looking to boost revenue and stem losses at the company he says is losing $4 million a day. Twitter is taking a hit from advertisers like General Motors Co.
and General Mills Inc.,
which is pausing the spending in the wake of Mr. Musk’s control and concerns about content moderation.
Saturday’s update marks the first major product change since Mr. Musk took control and capped a week at the company that has included widespread layoffs, chaos and confusion as he scrambles to put his stamp on things. It was unclear Saturday when the updated service would go into effect for all users.
Esther Crawford, a manager at the company, “The new Blue is not live yet – our launch sprint continues but some people may see us making updates because we are testing and pushing changes in real time. said on his Twitter account. “The Twitter team is legendary … New Blue … coming soon!”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a bid to make Twitter less dependent on advertising—which makes up about 90% of its sales—Mr. Musk hinted that he was leaning towards an $8 a month subscription offer. Earlier this week he tweeted: “To all the complainers, please keep complaining, but it will cost $8.”
The company’s blue logo, which has been used by the company for years to authenticate public officials, was a point of contention among some Twitter users, who saw it as a symbol of classism.
“Too many ‘verified’ heritage check marks have been handed out, often arbitrarily, so in reality they are not verify. You can buy as much as you want now with a Google search, “Mr. Musk wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Piggybacking in payment systems plus Apple / Android is a better way to ensure verification.”
Saturday’s Twitter update teased other new features for subscribers to the Twitter Blue service, which launched about a year ago and most recently cost $4.99 a month. Subscribers would soon get “half of their ads,” be able to post longer videos and see “high-quality” content receive priority rankings, the company said. Earlier versions of the service included the ability to edit tweets or use icons in tweets.
Saturday’s change applies to Apple users in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK
A user on Twitter asked when previous subscribers would see the change. Mr. Musk responded on Twitter: “It’s really hard because of how Apple handles ‘subscriptions’. “If you subscribed to the old thing, it’s not very easy to subscribe to the new thing. We’re working on it.”
Mr. Musk on Twitter added that “as soon as we confirm that it works well in the first set of countries and we have the translation work done, it will be rolled out worldwide.”
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