Elon Musk wasted no time Saturday in rolling out his new Twitter Blue subscription plan at $7.99 per month.
The fee he promised to implement was launched so users can verify accounts with the coveted blue checkmark.
“Get Twitter Blue for $7.99/month if you sign up now,” Twitter announced in an update on Apple iOS devices. “Blue checkmark: Power to the people. Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies and politicians you already follow.”
The move comes days before the US midterm elections on Nov. 8 and the blue checkmark is raising concerns about who can get a verified account because anyone able to get it could lead to confusion and the spread of disinformation ahead of voting. Impostors could pay for the subscription and use the names of politicians and elected officials.
Twitter’s verification system had been in existence for 13 years since the platform launched it in 2009 to prevent impersonations of high-profile accounts such as celebrities and politicians.
The company had about 423,000 verified accounts before the new changes. That verification was supposed to be used to help the site’s 238 million daily users determine if the accounts they were getting information from were authentic.
The new fee is luring those who want to be verified with the promise of extra perks.
“Coming soon… Half the ads amp; much better ones,” the Twitter statement added. “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.”
Twitter Blue is also promising users the ability to "post longer videos" and receive "priority ranking for quality content."
"Your content will get priority ranking in replies, mentions and search," said the announcement. "This helps lower visibility of scams, spam, and bots."
Twitter Blue is available on iOS in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK.