The Twitter logo is seen on a mobile device in ths illustration photo in Warsaw, Poland on 30 October, 2022. Twitter is losing its most active users according to research done by Reuters. Despite the most impactful tweeters making up only 10 percent of the monthly users they are together responsible for 90 percent of all tweets and around half of the company’s revenue.
STR | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Twitter relaunched its updated Twitter Blue subscription service Monday after the company’s new owner Elon Musk pulled and delayed the launch in November.
The service costs $8 a month for web users and $11 a month for iOS users who purchase it through Apple‘s App Store. The $3 iOS price difference reflects Musk’s recent gripes about Apple’s 30% cut of all digital sales made through apps.
It appears to be rolling out at the moment, so some users may not see the option to subscribe yet.
Subscribers with a verified phone number will receive a blue checkmark once their account is reviewed and approved, Twitter said in a tweet Saturday. Blue users will also be able to edit tweets and get early access to new features. The company says Blue subscribers will “soon” see fewer ads, have the option to post longer videos and will appear at the top of replies and mentions.
As part of the relaunch, businesses will receive a gold checkmark and governments will receive a grey checkmark to help prevent impersonation. If users want to change their username, display name or profile photo, they can do so, but they will lose their blue check until their account is reviewed again, Twitter said.
In a tweet Saturday, Musk said more features are on the way.
Twitter Blue briefly launched in November, but it was pulled after users abused the new paid option by impersonating celebrities and brands. A user impersonating pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily, for example, tweeted “we are excited to announce insulin is free now.”
Eli Lilly’s stock price dropped sharply after the false message was posted, and so did other pharmaceutical companies like AbbVie, which was also impersonated on Twitter.
Musk said the service would launch again on Nov. 29, but it was further delayed until Monday.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion in October, has said the new verification system will be “the great leveler” and give “power to the people.” He has been a vocal critic of Twitter’s previous system, which granted verification to notable users like politicians, executives, members of the press and organizations to signal their legitimacy. Other social networks, like Meta‘s Facebook and Instagram, have similar verification systems.
Users who were verified under Twitter’s old policy are being marked as legacy verified accounts that “may not be notable” under the new Twitter Blue service. It is unclear whether or not their checkmarks will ultimately disappear.