Now that he owns Twitter, Elon Musk has given his employees their first ultimatum: meet his deadline to introduce paid verification on Twitter or pack up and leave.
The guideline is to change Twitter Blue, the company’s optional $4.99-a-month plan that unlocks additional features, to a more expensive plan that also authenticates users, according to people familiar with the matter and internal correspondence seen by The edge. Twitter currently plans to charge $19.99 for the new Twitter Blue subscription. Under the current plan, verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue tick. Employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they must meet a November 7 deadline to launch the position or they will be fired.
Musk has been clear in the months leading up to his acquisition that he wanted to renew the way Twitter verifies accounts and handles bots. On Sunday, he tweetedTo: “The entire verification process will now be refreshed.”
The Twitter Blue subscription was widely launched almost a year ago as a way to view ad-free articles from some publishers and make other customizations to the app, such as a different color home screen icon. In the few quarters that Twitter reported revenue as a publicly traded company after that debut, advertising remained the bulk of its revenue. Musk would like to grow the number of subscriptions to become half of the company’s total revenue.
Update October 30 at 9:25 PM ET: Added detail that existing verified users will lose their tick within 90 days if they don’t subscribe to the new Twitter Blue after it’s launched.