Twitter relaunched its updated Twitter Blue subscription service on Monday, two months after Elon Musk, the company’s new owner, pulled and delayed the launch in November.
The service costs $8 per month for web users and $11 per month for iOS users who buy it from Apple’s App Store. Musk’s recent complaints about Apple’s 30% cut of all digital sales made through apps are reflected in the $3 iOS price difference.
It appears to be in the process of being rolled out, so some users may not see the option to subscribe just yet.
Subscribers with a verified phone number will see a blue checkmark once their account is reviewed and approved, according to a tweet from Twitter on Saturday. Blue users will also have the ability to edit tweets and will have first access to new features. According to the company, Blue subscribers will “soon” see fewer ads, will be able to post longer videos, and will be at the top of replies and mentions.
Businesses will receive a gold checkmark as part of the relaunch, while governments will receive a grey checkmark to help prevent impersonation. Users can change their username, display name, or profile photo, but they will lose their blue check until their account is reviewed again, according to Twitter.
Musk said in a tweet on Saturday that more features are on the way.
Twitter Blue was briefly available in November before being pulled after users abused the new paid option by impersonating celebrities and brands. For example, a user impersonating pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly tweeted, “we are excited to announce insulin is now free.”
Following the false message, the stock price of Eli Lilly plummeted, as did that of other pharmaceutical companies such as AbbVie, which was also impersonated on Twitter.
Musk said the service would relaunch on Nov. 29, but that date has now been pushed back to Monday.
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, who paid $44 billion for Twitter in October, has stated that the new verification system will be “the great leveler” and give “power to the people.” He was a vocal critic of Twitter’s previous system, which granted verification to notable users such as politicians, executives, members of the press, and organizations in order to demonstrate their legitimacy. Similar verification systems exist on other social networks, such as Meta’s Facebook and Instagram.
Users who were verified under Twitter’s previous policy are now classified as “legacy verified accounts” that “may not be notable” under the new Twitter Blue service. Musk stated in a tweet on Monday that all legacy blue checks will be phased out over the next few months.
“The way in which they were given out was corrupt and nonsensical,” he said.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)