Musk orders Twitter staff to work day and night on ‘blue tick’ charge | Financial Times
Elon Musk has ordered Twitter staff to work round the clock to implement a charge on users to keep their verified “blue tick”, as the new owner of the social media company seeks to stamp his mark on the business.
The renewed push into subscription revenues comes as Twitter braces itself for a potential backlash from advertisers, as Musk considers loosening content moderation controls. On Monday, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), a marketing industry group set up by the World Federation of Advertisers, warned Musk that keeping the platform free of inappropriate material was “non-negotiable”.
Advertising made up more than 90 per cent of Twitter’s revenues in its last reported figures as a public company. Before Musk’s arrival, efforts were made to persuade users to pay $4.99 a month to subscribe to Twitter Blue, which enables them to access exclusive features including an edit button.
Musk is said to want to increase the pricing of Twitter Blue and make it a condition of having a verified profile, signified by a blue tick next to a user’s name, on the social media platform. Hundreds of thousands of Twitter users have been verified, including big brands and corporate accounts, as well as celebrities and journalists. However, Twitter Blue is only available to users in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand at the moment.
Employees at Twitter have been working “24/7” to deliver Musk’s vision for verification, said two senior staff members. One person added that teams were told it was of the “utmost gravity”.
Musk said in a tweet on Sunday that “the whole verification process is being revamped right now”.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
One person familiar with Musk’s thinking ahead of completing the $44bn purchase of the social media site said several pricing options had been discussed, including $9.99 and $14.99 a month, adding that different groups of users could be asked to test pricing models.