Elon Musk’s Bold Move: Twitter’s Verified Check Marks Up for Grabs

The new king of social media is looking for cash and it seems he’s found a way to get it. Elon Musk‘s Twitter is asking businesses to pay a hefty $1,000 per month, plus an additional $50 per affiliated sub-account, to keep their gold check-mark verification badges. This new pricing falls under Twitter’s new service, Twitter Blue for Business, which was introduced in December and allows businesses to distinguish themselves and link affiliated individuals, businesses, and even movie characters with a small badge next to their profile picture.

However, this move doesn’t come as a surprise. After acquiring Twitter for $44 billion, Musk accumulated $12.5 billion in debt and is looking to increase subscription revenue to meet these obligations. This new pricing strategy also follows Twitter’s announcement last month of partnerships with brand-safety analytics vendors to attract back marketers who have been hesitant to spend on the platform since Musk’s chaotic takeover.

Twitter Blue for Business customers will eventually be the only ones with verified status as Twitter plans to discontinue all legacy verified check-marks within the next few months. Musk has previously stated that the way in which these check-marks were given out was “corrupt and nonsensical”.

Twitter Blue for individuals, which includes a blue check-mark, costs $8 per month purchased on the web and $11 per month through Apple’s iOS. To prevent impersonators from flooding the platform, Twitter relaunched the program in December with new safeguards.

On a related note, Musk recently announced that Twitter will start sharing ad revenue with creators for ads that appear in their reply threads starting February 3rd, but provided no additional details on how the program will work or how much users can expect to be paid. The split in revenue will only be with creators who subscribe to Twitter Blue.

Aside from being the CEO of Twitter, Musk is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. On Friday, a federal jury found him not liable for Tesla investor losses over tweets he made in 2018, which led to a lawsuit by the SEC. Following the verdict, Musk tweeted, “Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed! I am deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence in the Tesla 420 take-private case.”