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Business News/ Companies / News/  Twitter rolls out $8/month blue tick verification service for Apple users
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Twitter rolls out $8/month blue tick verification service for Apple users

The company said the subscribers of Twitter Blue will receive fewer ads, could post long videos, and to get priority ranking for quality content.

Twitter has rolled out the $8 verification service for selective iOS users (AP)Premium
Twitter has rolled out the $8 verification service for selective iOS users (AP)

Twitter has rolled out the $8 verification service for selective iOS users as new owner Elon Musk works to overhaul the platform’s verification system just ahead of the US midterm elections.

The Twitter Blue with verification service is currently available in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Twitter informed about the new app update on its microblogging site, "Starting today, we're adding great new features to Twitter Blue, and have more on the way soon. Get Twitter Blue for $7.99/month if you sign up now".

The social media website added, "Blue checkmark: Power to the people. Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow".

Further, Twitter revealed a list of features that the blue tick account will get.

The company said the subscribers of Twitter Blue will receive fewer ads, could post long videos, and to get priority ranking for quality content.

"Coming soon... Half the ads and much better ones. Since you're supporting Twitter in the battle against the bots, we're going to reward you with half the ads and make them twice as relevant," the company said.

"Post longer videos: You'll finally be able to post longer videos to Twitter. Priority ranking for quality content: Your content will get priority ranking in replies, mentions, and search. This helps lower the visibility of scams, spam, and bots," it said.

The change will end Twitter’s current verification system, which was launched in 2009 to prevent impersonations of high-profile accounts such as celebrities and politicians. Twitter now has about 423,000 verified accounts, many of them rank-and-file journalists from around the globe that the company verified regardless of how many followers they had.

Musk, who had earlier said that he wants to “verify all humans" on Twitter, has floated that public figures would be identified in ways other than the blue check. Currently, for instance, government officials are identified with text under names stating that they are posting from an official government account.

President Joe Biden’s @POTUS account, for example, says in gray letters it belongs to a “United States government official."

The announcement comes a day after Twitter began laying off workers to cut costs and as more companies are pausing advertising on the platform as a cautious corporate world waits to see how it will operate under its new owner.

About half of the company’s staff of 7,500 was let go, tweeted Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity.

Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey took the blame for the job losses.

“I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly," he tweeted Saturday. “I apologize for that."

Musk tweeted late Friday that there was no choice but to cut jobs “when the company is losing over $4M/day." He did not provide details on the daily losses at Twitter and said employees who lost their jobs were offered three months’ pay as severance.

He also said Twitter has already seen “a massive drop in revenue" as advertisers face pressure from activists to get off the platform, which heavily relies on advertising to make money.

United Airlines on Saturday became the latest major brand to pause advertising on Twitter, joining companies including General Motors, REI, General Mills, and Audi.

Musk tried to reassure advertisers last week, saying Twitter would not become a “free-for-all hellscape" because of what he calls his commitment to free speech.

But concerns remain about whether a lighter touch on content moderation at Twitter will result in users sending out more offensive tweets. That could hurt companies’ brands if their advertisements appear next to them.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Saturday urged Musk to “ensure human rights are central to the management of Twitter." In an open letter, Türk said reports that the company’s whole human rights team and much of the ethical AI team were laid off was not “an encouraging start."

“Like all companies, Twitter needs to understand the harms associated with its platform and take steps to address them," Türk said. “Respect for our shared human rights should set the guardrails for the platform’s use and evolution."

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Published: 06 Nov 2022, 06:23 AM IST
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