Elon Musk’s Twitter needs cash — and now the mega-billionaire wants companies and brands to fork over $1,000 monthly to get verified check-marks on his social network.
Twitter is asking organizations to pay $1,000 per month, plus an additional $50 monthly for each affiliated sub-account, to maintain the gold check-mark verification badges the company introduced in December, replacing the blue check-marks for businesses, according to social media consultant Matt Navarra, who tweeted the details Friday (see below). Tech news site The Information confirmed the details, adding that the pricing “is being finalized and could still change.”
Twitter reps did not respond to a request for comment.
The new pricing for gold check-mark status falls under the new Twitter Blue for Business service, which is “a new way for businesses and their affiliates to verify and distinguish themselves on Twitter,” the company announced in December. Under their primary account, Twitter Blue for Business customers are able to link affiliated individuals, businesses, brands — and even “movie characters” — which will get a small badge of their parent company’s profile picture next to their own blue or gold check-mark. Twitter also introduced new square profile pictures for companies and brands, and it has applied gray check-marks to governmental accounts.
Musk has said that within the next few months, Twitter will discontinue all legacy verified check-marks, so that eventually only paying individual and corporate customers will have verified status. “The way in which [verified check-marks] were given out was corrupt and nonsensical,” he tweeted Dec. 12.
In closing the $44 billion takeover of Twitter, Musk amassed some $12.5 billion in debt and wants to ramp up subscription revenue to meet those obligations (amid an 80% reduction in Twitter’s headcount). Numerous advertisers halted their spending on Twitter in the wake of Musk’s chaotic takeover in late October. Last month, hoping to win back marketers who have fled the platform, Twitter announced partnerships with two brand-safety analytics vendors, promising new tools to ensure ad-adjacent tweets aren’t offensive.
Meanwhile, Musk on Friday announced that Twitter would start sharing ad revenue with creators for “ads that appear in their reply threads” starting of Feb. 3. He added that Twitter would split revenue only with creators who subscribe to Twitter Blue but otherwise didn’t provide additional details on how the program is supposed to work, including how much users can expect to be paid.
For individuals, Twitter Blue (which includes a blue check-mark) costs $8 per month purchased on the web and $11 per month through Apple’s iOS. The company relaunched the program in December with new safeguards designed to prevent the deluge of impersonators that flooded Twitter — causing widespread confusion — when Musk first mandated the Twitter Blue revamp a month earlier.
Musk, in addition currently serving as CEO of Twitter, is the chief executive officer of Tesla and SpaceX.
Separately, on Friday a federal jury found Musk wasn’t liable for Tesla investor losses over the tech mogul’s 2018 tweets that he had “secured” funding to take the electric-vehicle maker private for $420 per share and that “investor support” was “confirmed.” After the verdict was announced, 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.” In 2018, the SEC sued Musk over his claims about taking Tesla private; Musk and the company settled the case, paying $40 million in penalties, without admitting guilt.