Big changes at Twitter have already begun. Elon Musk says if the workers building it don’t meet their deadline, they’re fired.
Twitter, with Elon Musk as its new CEO and sole director, may begin charging a monthly subscription fee worth $20 from its users who have verified accounts. This is a drastic increase from the original $5, and not agreeing to pay this fee will mean that users would lose the coveted blue tick on their profiles, The Verge reported Monday.
It has only been a few days since the takeover, but Elon Musk is already making big changes. On another report from The Verge, the social media platform’s page for logged-off users now looks different and has set the tone for how things will be going at the company now that Musk has become its CEO.
In the past, a decision like this would take weeks of discussions at Twitter, but with a new CEO at its helm, it was done almost overnight. The move to raise subscription fees is also expected to be enforced soon enough but apparently carries a consequence of losing the job if not done.
Implement within a week or get fired
Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition was accompanied by the news of massive layoffs at the social media company. The Tesla CEO strongly believes that Twitter is bloated and plans to lessen the workforce by as much as 75%.
Reports say that managers have been tasked with making lists of team members who could be laid off, and meanwhile, Musk is looking to implement a move that will boost revenues.
Platformer was the first to report that Twitter may be considering a charge for account verification, but now it looks like that a $19.99 subscription fee would have to be paid in order to retain one’s verified status on the platform.
The implementation of this change may also even decide the fate of several engineers at the company. Musk has allegedly given a deadline of November 7 for this change to be carried out, and if the employees tasked to do this fail, they could be fired.
Impact on subscribers, revenues
After taking the social media company private, Musk has plans to boost its revenues by five times. Raising the subscription fee is definitely the way to go for this. However, verification is a sought-after status on Twitter, and as of 2021, only around 360,000 accounts, or as low as 0.2% of Twitter’s monetizable daily active user accounts were verified.
Charging users for having this status could be a nice move to increase revenues, but it could also result to a drop in those seeking this status. It’s possible that Twitter will bundle features of its Blue subscription services, such as being able to edit published tweets, undo a tweet, upload 10-minute-long videos and organize bookmarks to those who pay the subscription fee.
However, it is unclear whether subscribing to Blue at this increased cost would also bestow the status of verified blue tick to users on the platform. Doing so would create a lot of interest in the subscription service, but it would also dilute Twitter’s verification criteria.
It remains to be seen how Musk-owned Twitter handles this. Fortunately, it might only take less than a week before we see this laid out.
After facing criticism for his plan to charge Twitter users $20 a month to get or keep a verified account, on Tuesday November 2, Elon Musk proposes a new monthly fee at $8. Musk says it was “essential to defeat spam/scam”. The plan would potentially solve the platform’s issues with bots and trolls while at the same time creating a new revenue stream for the company.
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