According to the Associated Press, on the 5th local time, Twitter, which has been acquired by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, officially announced that it will charge for identity verification services. For months, Twitter’s main advertisers have expressed concern about Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, and several companies, including General Motors, have announced that they will suspend advertising on the Twitter platform.
On the 5th, Twitter announced that it would charge for the previously free identity verification service at $8 per month, or about 58 yuan. Subscribers receive a “Blue V” badge to show that their account has been verified by the company.
Twitter also said that users who “subscribed now” to the service in the update for Apple devices will receive a “blue V” next to their username. According to reports, Twitter used to add a “Blue V” to users based on verified profiles, but there was no charge for this process.
Concerns that Musk’s takeover of Twitter will open the floodgates of hate speech, some U.S. agencies and individuals called on Twitter’s major advertisers on the 4th to boycott fees for authentication services. Twitter’s main advertiser has reportedly expressed concern about Musk’s acquisition of Twitter for months. Companies such as General Motors and General Mills Foods said they had paused advertising on Twitter to keep tabs on what’s new on the platform. Advertising is Twitter’s main source of revenue. Musk responded by saying the company’s revenue was “significantly lower” due to the withdrawal of advertisers, but insisted that Twitter’s commitment to content moderation “will not change.”
Musk completed the acquisition of Twitter at the end of October. After he officially took over, he fired senior managers such as the CEO and CFO. On the 4th of this month, he cut half of the staff drastically, affecting about 3,700 people. Musk said that Twitter was losing more than $4 million (about 28.74 million yuan) a day and had “no choice” other than layoffs. He also said laid-off employees would receive severance pay equivalent to three months’ salary. It is understood that the layoffs not only involve the headquarters in San Francisco, California and multiple branches in the United States, but also Twitter branches in other countries and regions.