Elon Musk is currently at the receiving end after his announcement of charging $8 monthly from verified Twitter users. The tech billionaire completed the acquisition deal of the microblogging site in late October after paying $44 billion and has been busy with making it a 'digital town square'. Amid a number of changes including laying off 25% of Twitter employees, charging money from verified users is what has made many go berserk. The said amount was brought down from $20, the initial amount Musk planned on charging.
According to a report by Statista, Twitter currently has 4,24,000 verified users as of 2022. If all of these users agree to pay $8 to keep their blue tick, Twitter would generate about $3.4 million every month or roughly Rs 28.2 crore (per current Rupee strength). It is worth mentioning, however, that this number could see a significant increment since any user could now get the blue tick badge if they are ready to shell the said amount. On the other hand, this number could also dip as many have ready to bid farewell to their verified accounts whereas some have threatened to quit Twitter altogether.
What’s also worth mentioning is that the current number of verified accounts make just 0.2% of the total daily active users as per Statista, which is estimated to be 240 million (24 crores). In a hypothetical situation, where all of these accounts acquire the blue tick shelling $8, Musk would rake in a whopping $1.92 billion every month.
On November 1, Musk criticised the 'lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark' before announcing subscription charges. He said that verified accounts would get "Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam, Ability to post long video & audio, Half as many ads (sic).
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
You will also get:— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
- Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam
- Ability to post long video & audio
- Half as many ads
The idea of Twitter verification was first introduced in 2009 and was made available for public officials, agencies, artists, athletes and other well-known personalities to address the problem of impersonators. The verification process, however, was subject to controversies due to the alleged non-transparency, which made Musk call it "bull****".
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
Renowned author Stephen King was among several users who raised objections against Musk's decision to charge verified users. “$20 a month to keep my blue check?” King tweeted to his 6.9 million followers. “They should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.” As the complaints continue to grow, Musk seemed unflinched as he tweeted, "To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8".
To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022