On Twitter, verification ticks have so far confirmed the authenticity of the Twitter profile. The new Twitter owner Elon Musk now wants to monetize the coveted ticks.

The new Twitter owner Elon Musk will charge for user verification. The coveted white tick on a blue verification badge will cost eight dollars a month in the United States, as the tech billionaire announced on Twitter.

Until now, Twitter had given away the tick symbols, which guarantee the authenticity of the Twitter profile, free of charge. Above all, the accounts of celebrities, companies, and users with many followers, such as politicians or journalists, were marked with it.

In the past, however, there had always been controversial discussions about verification, since the award criteria were not transparent enough for many users. Musk explained that Twitter is currently using a “system of princes and pawns” to decide who has a tick or not. “That is nonsense.”

Abo “Twitter Blue”

Musk wants to integrate the verification hook and other benefits into the existing “Twitter Blue” subscription, which so far includes bookmarks, a special reading mode and the ability to correct a tweet that has already been sent. So far, however, it is only available in Canada and the USA and costs just under five dollars. In the meantime, prices of up to $20 a month have been discussed for the extended subscription.

Musk defended his plans on Wednesday. “To all those who complain, please keep complaining, but it’s eight dollars.” Critics were not only bothered by the price of the verification. They fear that the very purpose of the verification tick, which is to guarantee the authenticity of an account, is being compromised.

During the Twitter takeover, Musk announced, among other things, that he would eliminate fake accounts and spam on the platform. He wrote on Wednesday: “Our goal is to make Twitter the most correct source of information in the world, regardless of political beliefs.” At the weekend he himself shared a link to a completely unfounded conspiracy theory about the attack on US politician husband Paul Pelosi on Twitter – and later deleted it without comment.

Musk wants to lure paying customers with further advantages in the future. In the future, tweets from subscription accounts will be given preferential treatment. Subscribers should also only see half of the usual advertisements. They should also be able to publish long videos and audio content on the platform. At the same time, Musk invited publishers to make content behind a paywall available to Twitter Blue subscribers.

Musk is under pressure to refinance the $44 billion purchase following the Twitter takeover. In addition to his own fortune, he has taken out bank loans and brought other investors on board. According to a report by the “New York Times”, he owed Twitter part of the costs – a total of around 13 billion US dollars. As a result, around one billion US dollars in interest would be due annually, more than Twitter has been taking in a year so far.