New York (CNN Business) — Twitter is considering offering verified accounts to users willing to pay $19.99 a month for the subscription service, and could remove the coveted blue checkmarks from profiles that already have them if they don’t start paying for it. product in 90 days, according to internal CNN has seen documents from Twitter.
The plan and pricing could change as Twitter’s new owner, billionaire Elon Musk, works to make his mark on one of the world’s biggest social media platforms. It is also unclear whether some users with verified accounts may be exempt from paying the monthly fee: many international organizations and charities, for example, are verified on Twitter.
The changes would build on Twitter’s existing paid feature known as “Twitter Blue,” which currently costs $4.99 a month and is available in four countries, including the United States, to add verification. According to internal Twitter planning documents seen by CNN, it appears that the pay-to-verify feature would initially only appear in those four countries and would be priced at $19.99 per month.
The Verge first reported the collection plan this Sunday. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The entire verification process is currently being renewed,” chirped Musk on Sunday. On the same day, the billionaire took part in a survey what Jason Calcanis tweeted, a member of their inner circle, wondering how much they would pay to be verified on the platform. The vast majority of respondents chose the option “would not pay”.
“Interesting,” Musk tweeted in response to the survey.
Musk quickly made changes at Twitter, including firing its top executives. In tweets this weekend, Musk polled his followers about desirability recover the vine, Twitter’s defunct short video service. also answered “absolutely” at the suggestion of users to reconsider the character limits of the platform. The degree of Musk’s commitment to making any or all of these changes is unclear.
Even before concluding the purchase agreement, Musk suggested the possibility of linking verification with the paid subscription service. In April, the billionaire said that paying Twitter subscribers “should have a tick.” IN another tweet noted: “The cost should probably be ~$2/month, but if you pay 12 months in advance, the account is non-verified for 60 days (watch out for credit card chargebacks) and suspended without refund if used for fraud/spam.”
While the blue tick has become a status symbol for profiles, it’s also designed to ensure users can tell which accounts are authentic and which aren’t, especially in the case of celebrities, brands and other influential accounts. If Musk were to create a verification paywall, it might be harder to distinguish whether a famous name is a bot or not.
Musk, who previously said he wanted to “defeat spam bots,” made the prevalence of spam and fake Twitter accounts a centerpiece of his push to ditch the acquisition deal, before backing out earlier this month and moving on.
— CNN’s Clare Duffy contributed to this report.