Update: It looks like the launch may have been premature. According To a tweet from Twitter Product Manager Esther Crawford, the new Twitter Blue plan isn’t live yet, but some users are seeing notifications as part of a live test.

Just days after new Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced changes to Twitter’s user account verification system, including charging $8 a month for the privilege, Twitter appears to have started rolling out a new tier of Twitter Blue, its premium subscription service, which reflects some of Musk’s proposed changes.

According to an iOS in-app notification seen by TechCrunch, the upgraded Twitter Blue, starting at $7.99 per month, will add the previously reserved blue verification checkmark to accounts that applied through the free verification process. from Twitter. Other benefits listed as “coming soon” include “half the ads” seen by non-paying Twitter users as well as seemingly “twice as relevant” ads (Blue previously removed ads entirely) and the ability to post longer videos on Twitter.

By the way, the duration of these videos is unclear. The language on the new Twitter Blue does not specify. But in a Tweeter this afternoon, Musk said the current cap is 42 minutes for 1080p video, a technical limit he says will be increased later this month.

blue twitter with verification

Picture credits: Tech Crunch

What’s unclear is whether currently verified Twitter users will lose their blue tick if they don’t shell out more than $7.99 per month. The wording of the notification suggests that won’t be the case, but a report from The Verge said that Twitter plans to remove verification badges from non-paying accounts for Twitter Blue within 90 days of the launch of the new plan. .

In any case, the new, more expensive Twitter Blue will also offer priority rankings for “quality content”, promising to increase the visibility of Blue followers in replies, mentions and search. A revamped notifications screen in the Twitter app shows tweets from verified users by default in the first tab. Twitter claims this will help “reduce the visibility of scams, spam, and bots,” but time will tell if that’s really the case.

blue twitter with verification

Picture credits: Tech Crunch

Musk previously claimed that Twitter, which recently ended support for ad-free articles offered under Blue, would create a new program to bypass paywalls for publishers wanting to work with the company. But while Musk intends to go through with the proposal, the program doesn’t appear to have entered the new Blue — at least not at launch.

Available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK on iOS to start, the new Twitter Blue comes after massive Twitter layoffs affecting around half of the company’s staff, including employees on key human rights, accessibility, AI ethics, and curating teams. Musk claimed the cuts – along with the introduction of new paid features – are needed to bring Twitter to profitability, as the company faces about $1 billion a year in interest payments on $13 billion debt. of dollars.

It will probably be an uphill battle. Data from analytics firm Sensor Tower suggests that Twitter’s app has only generated $6.4 million in in-app purchases to date, with Blue being the top purchase. And one survey by investor Jason Calacanis – although unscientific – a majority of respondents said no to paying a fee for verification.

However, Musk’s handling of Twitter doesn’t appear to have inspired much confidence among major advertisers, many of whom have suspended their campaigns on the platform. In a tweet on Friday, Musk blamed a “massive drop” in Twitter revenue on “activist groups pressuring advertisers,” likely referring to an open letter sent Tuesday by civil society organizations urging advertisers to Twitter to suspend their ads if Musk did not commit to upholding safety standards and community guidelines.