Elon Musk's Twitter reportedly will charge $20 a month as subscription fees

The changes at Twitter have already begun. Those not falling in line might be fired.
Ameya Paleja
Elon Musk
Elon Musk

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Twitter, under its new CEO, Elon Musk, may begin charging $20 a month as subscription fees from its users who have verified accounts. This is a sharp rise from the $5, and not coughing up this fee will mean that users will lose the coveted blue tick on their profiles, The Verge reported.

It has barely been three full days, but Elon Musk is already making changes. According to another report from The Verge, the website's page for logged-off users now appears differently and has set the tone for how Musk's reign as CEO will be at the company.

Previously, a decision like this would lead to weeks of discussions at Twitter but with a new CEO in charge, it was done almost overnight. The move to increase subscription fees is also expected to be implemented soon enough but allegedly carries a rider of losing the job if not done.

A week to implement or lay off

Musk's acquisition of Twitter was accompanied by the news of massive layoffs at Twitter. The Tesla CEO believes that Twitter is bloated and has plans to reduce the workforce by as much as 75 percent.

Reports suggest that managers have been tasked with drawing up lists of team members who could be laid off, and in the meantime, Musk is looking to implement a move that will boost revenues.

Casey Newton at Platformer was the first to report that Twitter might be considering a charge for verification but it now appears that a $19.99 subscription fee would have to be paid to retain the verified status on the platform.

Interestingly, the implementation of this change might even decide the fate of many engineers at the company. Musk has allegedly given a November 7 deadline for this change to come into effect, failing which the employees tasked could be fired, The Verge said in its report.

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Impact on revenues, subscribers

After taking the company private, Musk has plans to increase its revenues by five times, a New York Times report said. Increasing the subscription fee is surely a step in this direction. However, verification is a coveted status on the platform, and as of 2021, only 360,000 accounts, or as little as 0.2 percent of Twitter's monetizable daily active user accounts were verified, CNET reported.

Charging users for holding this status could be a neat trick to increase revenues but could also see a drop in those seeking this status. It is likely that Twitter will bundle features of its Blue subscription services, such as the ability to edit published tweets, undo a tweet, organize bookmarks and upload 10-minute-long videos to those paying the subscription fee.

However, it is not clear whether subscribing to Blue at this increased cost would also confer the verified blue tick to users on the platform. Doing so would generate a lot of interest in the subscription service but also dilute Twitter's verification criteria.

It remains to be seen how Musk-led Twitter handles this. Luckily, it might not even be a week before we see this rolled out.

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