Twitter is abuzz with reports that users will have to shell out a $20 (roughly Rs. 1,600) fee for the ‘blue tick’, which authenticates the identity of the account holder, and a failure pay the amount will result in the coveted status being withdrawn.
Refuting the reports, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar told ANI, “I do not think this is true. This is a challenge for Twitter. They need to see how this miscommunication is being circulated on the platform. I do not think such reports are true.”
According to media reports, Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, is planning to charge users $19.99 (over Rs. 1,600) for the new Twitter Blue subscription that brings extra features like edit and undo tweets.
Under the current plan, verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark. Employees working on the project were told that they need to meet a deadline of November 7 to launch the feature or they will be fired.
The particular report comes a day after Musk in a tweet mentioned that Twitter will revise its user verification process. However, he did not any detail related to the charges.
“Whole verification process is being revamped right now”, he tweeted.
The Twitter Blue subscription launched widely almost a year ago as a way to view ad-free articles from some publishers and make other tweaks to the app, such as a different color home screen icon.
In April, Twitter accepted Musk’s proposal to buy and take the social media service private. However, Musk soon began sowing doubt about his intentions to follow through with the agreement, alleging that the company failed to adequately disclose the number of spam and fake accounts on the service.
In July, in a surprising turn of events, Elon Musk who had long been showing his interest to buy Twitter terminated the deal. The Tesla CEO did so by alleging that Twitter violated their mutual purchase agreement by misrepresenting the number of spam and fake bot accounts on its platform.
After Musk put out the deal termination announcement, the market saw a sharp decline. Later, Twitter sued Musk accusing him of using bots as a pretext to exit a deal. Again, last week, Musk confirmed that he would move forward with the Twitter buyout at the originally agreed price of $54.20 (roughly Rs. 4,400) per share.