- Twitter developers have been given a deadline to redesign Twitter verification.
- They will lose their employment if they do not meet the November 7 deadline.
- Twitter is considering a $20 monthly subscription for blue ticks.
Now that he is the owner of the firm, Elon Musk has given Twitter’s staff employees their first ultimatum: Either follow his instructions and start paid verification by the deadline, or quit.
According to those familiar with the situation and internal communication, the instruction is to convert Twitter Blue, the company’s optional $4.99 per month membership that unlocks more services, into a more costly subscription that also validates users.
Twitter’s new Twitter Blue membership will currently cost $19.99 per month. Verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark under the present scheme. Employees working on the project were informed on Sunday that they must implement the feature by November 7th or face termination.
Musk stated repeatedly in the months preceding up to his acquisition that he wants to change the way Twitter validates accounts and manages bots. Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday, “The whole verification procedure is being revised right now.”
Twitter was thinking about charging for verification. A Twitter spokeswoman did not reply to a request for comment by press time.
Even though he has only been “Chief Twit” for three days, Musk has moved rapidly to make changes at Twitter, beginning with redesigning the site for logged-out users. He’s also contemplating mass layoffs of middle management and engineers who haven’t lately contributed to the code base with the support of Tesla engineers he’s brought in as advisers at Twitter.
The Twitter Blue membership became publicly available over a year ago as a means to acceshess ad-free content from certain publishers and make additional changes to the app, such as changing the colour of the home screen icon. Advertising maintained the great bulk of Twitter’s revenue in the few quarters following its first public offering. Musk wants subscriptions to account for half of the company’s total income.
The blue badge distinguished confirmed users from the others. Anyone may get verified on Twitter as long as their account is legitimate (belongs to a person with a verifiable identity), prominent (represents or is affiliated with a well-known individual or company), and active.
Twitter certifies the following types of accounts: government, news organisations, news persons & journalists, corporations, brands & organisations, entertainment, sports & gaming, activists & organisers, content producers & important individuals.
A blue tick is seen as a signal of legitimacy. Tweets from such accounts should be regarded more seriously since they are perceived to be more reputable than those of their peers.
The blue tick ‘league’
The current verification system has been criticised for being unavailable to the general public. Critics said that only people linked with “notable” organisations and companies met Twitter’s stringent qualifying requirements. The typical user was effectively ignored.
Musk compared the existing verification procedure to “Kafka having a Magic 8-Ball.” Magic-8 Balls are a type of toy that is used to “predict” the future. Kafkaesque ideas are bizarre and terrifying. Verification could only produce outcomes that would cause the majority of individuals to abandon the site.
The political right has long accused Twitter of favouring voices on the left. The left has criticised the platform of not doing enough to combat trolls (whom they claim are associated with the right). Twitter then launched its content control, which will also be evaluated by the new Musk team.
Can paid badge earn trust?
What would the value of the badge be if Twitter made verification a premium service and awarded a blue tick to anybody who paid?
While there isn’t much information, Platformer originally claimed that users will have to pay to Twitter Blue for $4.99 per month or lose their badges. According to The Verge, people who wish to keep or access a blue-tick profile will have to pay an extra $20. This would result in an even more costly Twitter Blue membership.
Twitter expects that attaching verification to a paid membership model would increase income for the platform.
But, if governments and organisations, activists and non-governmental organisations, journalists and news organisations, and others that provide an important public service do not pay for the “hallowed mark,” would they lose their blue ticks?
Without background checks, blue ticks would be worthless. Subscription blue ticks for persons and organisations that tweet in the public interest would stifle free expression.
Musk confirmed fears on Sunday, tweeting, “The whole authentication procedure is being redone right now.” He has also placed the ball in the users’ court, encouraging them to construct the version of Twitter they desire.
Twitter’s bird is in for a bumpy ride, with the right and left and everyone in between tugging in different directions.