There’s been a lot of activity on Twitter since Elon Musk took charge of the platform for an amazing $44 billion – and the controversial change to the social network’s verification system is currently being tested in the Twitter iOS app.
An iOS app update rolled out over the weekend (via Engadget (opens in a new tab) and others) introduced the option to pay $7.99 per month for the blue check mark. It’s being sold as part of a Twitter Blue subscription, which already exists for $4.99 a month in some countries – though doesn’t include verification.
After some users reported problems with the new paid plan, a follow-up tweet (opens in a new tab) Twitter’s Esther Crawford thinks the feature is still “in beta” and hasn’t been fully implemented yet.
To verify or not to verify
New approach to account verification attract a lot of negative press. Previously, blue checkmarks – confirming genuine accounts run by real people – were given away for free after a manual review process.
Another change in the latest Twitter iOS app update places a Verified tab on the Notifications screen, which means replies from verified users will appear before anything else. This is possible to lessen the impact of bots and spammers, although probably a lot of bots and spammers will have the money to pay $8 a month.
Also this weekend, Elon Musk tweeted (opens in a new tab) his intention was to introduce the ability to attach long-form text notes to tweets, which would save the need to take screenshots of large blocks of text. The creators will eventually be able to monetize this content, Musk said.
Analysis: Twitter is changing beyond recognition
We know when Elon Musk takes over Twitter there will be a lot of changes, but few can predict the speed at which they will be implemented. We are seeing major changes in fundamental aspects of the platform in just a few days.
We have written before about the shortcoming of the new paid verification system: Many people who really need to prove their identity online are not rich, while many bad guys have a lot of money to fund a blue check mark. However, it looks like the new system is now close to being rolled out.
It’s clear that there’s a lot to fix at Twitter, and admittedly the current verification process is frustrating in its own right. The platform doesn’t make enough money from ads, and much of the content on Twitter is generated by a small number of users – not a healthy situation for an app that relies on engagement.
In other words, Musk is facing a major challenge: far-reaching changes are certainly needed, but whether the calls that are currently being made are the right ones – or are they being made at the right pace. case – remains to be seen.