Elon Musk says Twitter will charge $8 for blue tick

Twitter Inc will charge $8 for its Blue service, which includes its sought-after "verified" badge according to Twitter's new boss Elon Musk.

 Elon Musk talks at the Automotive World News Congress at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, January 13, 2015. (photo credit: REUTERS/REBECCA COOK)
Elon Musk talks at the Automotive World News Congress at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, January 13, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS/REBECCA COOK)

Twitter Inc will charge $8 for its Blue service, which includes its sought-after "verified" badge, new boss Elon Musk said on Tuesday, in his push to monetize the service and make the social media network less reliant on ads.

"Twitter's current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn't have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month," Musk said in a tweet, adding that the price will be adjusted by "country proportionate to purchasing power parity."

Musk said blue-tick subscribers would get priority in replies, mentions and searches, and be able to post longer videos and audios, while dealing with half as many ads.

He also offered subscribers a paywall bypass from "publishers willing to work with us."

Musk's comments follow media reports that the Tesla boss was looking at the process of profile verification and how the blue ticks were given out.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves Manhattan federal court after a hearing on his fraud settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in New York City, US, April 4, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON/FILE PHOTO)Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves Manhattan federal court after a hearing on his fraud settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in New York City, US, April 4, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON/FILE PHOTO)

What is the change in policy?

Twitter use to hand out blue ticks to note-worthy profiles based on its own criteria.

However, more than 80% of Twitter users who took part in a recent poll said they would not pay for the blue tick, followed by 10% who said they were willing to pay $5 a month.

The billionaire completed his $44 billion purchase of the company last week following a long-drawn battle that included backing out of the deal and a legal showdown.

Twitter already has a subscription service called Twitter Blue, which was launched in June last year and offers access to features such as an option to edit tweets.

Amid speculations that Twitter may soon start charging verified users a monthly fee of $20 for blue ticks, bestselling author Stephen King tweeted: "If that gets instituted, I'm gone like Enron."

Separately, S&P Global Ratings downgraded Twitter to B- on "significant" debt increase following the acquisition.