Twitter is reportedly considering charging businesses $1,000 a month to stay verified with the platform’s coveted gold badge, according to a report by The Information.
An additional $50 will be charged for each affiliated sub-account in order for the brand to retain its gold checkmark, which was introduced in December for businesses on Twitter in place of regular blue verified badges. The Information report is being widely cited in the international news circuit; however, there has been no comment on the report from the social networking firm.
The news comes amid reports that Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk, who also owns SpaceX and Tesla, is aiming to increase revenue on the troubled platform through various new subscription models. Monetising verification badges was one of the billionaire’s first attempts at making the platform profitable, which, in comparison to its rival social networks, has a long way to go in terms of profitability.
According to some reports, Twitter’s revenue was down 40 per cent barely months after Musk acquired the social network for $44 billion in October. The drop was ascribed by experts and online safety advocates to Musk’s decision to reinstate banned accounts, including those of controversial figures, and his erratic decisions concerning his own interpretation of free speech. Many important marketers had ceased their spending on the platform citing “brand safety” risks, leading to a wave of uncertainty for advertisers on the platform. Last month, however, Musk announced partnerships with two third-party ad tech firms, DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science (IAS), in an effort to bring concerned and indecisive advertisers back to the social network.
Twitter has already been going through a rough phase since Musk’s high-profile acquisition. A number of policies updated to align with the new owner’s “free speech” ideals, which have repeatedly caused trouble for the company. From the restoration of former US president Donald Trump’s account to the roll-out of $8 blue badge, Twitter has drawn the ire of consumers, online safety experts and marketers for reversing the substantial gains the platform had achieved through its earlier policies on both potentially harmful content and advertising.
Various studies conducted following Musk’s takeover showed that hate speech and other forms of harmful content surged dramatically on Twitter in the wake of Musk’s promotion of “free speech”. Besides, leading businesses suffered massive losses when the billionaire’s plans for paid blue checkmark backfired and impersonators sent out misleading tweets targeting the businesses in question. Since October, Twitter has laid off thousands of employees, including entire teams handling sensitive issues such as online hate, harassment and sexual exploitation.