Twitter has revealed that it plans to allow users to purchase the verification blue-tick for a monthly fee.
Announcing an update for Apple devices, the social media company said users in some countries could purchase the blue mark if they sign up for the Twitter Blue service for $7.99 each month.
The change came after business mogul Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter and laid off around 50% of the company’s workers.
Through social media platforms, users have expressed their discontent and concern, saying that allowing people to buy the verified blue-tick could result in Twitter being flooded with fake accounts.
Previously, Twitter only allowed celebrities, high-profile people, and influential organizations to have the blue “verified” mark.
For a long time, the coveted blue-tick has been a way to prove users’ identity and show that a profile was authentic, enabling people to identify when information came from trusted sources.
However, many believe that the new policy will allow political figures, journalists, and brands to be supplanted by anyone who can pay the fee to buy the mark.
The move suggests Musk started looking for new income sources as soon as he acquired the social media company for $44 billion in late October.
Justifying his decision to lay off half of Twitter’s workforce, the billionaire businessman said on Friday that the company was losing more than $4 million a day.
However, not many details about the verification policy change have been released.
The company disclosed that the changes would apply only to certain countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. But reports say that the price for the Twitter Blue subscription in the UK has remained the same at almost £5.
Musk wrote on the platform that the changes would be implemented worldwide once they are tested and observed in the mentioned countries for a few months.
It is not yet clear what would happen to profiles that already have the blue-trick verified or if they will have another protocol to verify users.