Elon Musk’s Twitter, eager for a new source of revenue, will soon begin charging a subscription fee for businesses to retain their verified status — and the social network has introduced new square profile pictures for companies and brands on the platform, replacing the long-standing circular format.
The Twitter Blue for Business service is “a new way for businesses and their affiliates to verify and distinguish themselves on Twitter,” the company announced Monday. Going forward, the gold check-mark that Twitter began applying to businesses last week will be available only to accounts that subscribe to Twitter Blue for Business.
Twitter did not announce pricing for Twitter Blue for Business. The company said it currently is piloting Blue for Business with a “select group of businesses”; in 2023, Twitter said it will roll out the service more widely. Musk has said that within the next several months, Twitter will remove all legacy verified check-marks — so that eventually only paying individual and corporate customers will have verified status.
The announcement comes as company-watchers are waiting to see whether Musk will make good on his pledge to step down as CEO based on the results of an ad-hoc poll he posted Sunday asking users whether he should step down as head of Twitter. A majority (57.5%) voted “yes.”
There’s a sense of urgency for Musk, who incurred billions in debt to swing the $44 billion takeover of Twitter, to generate subscription revenue for the company. Many advertisers have pulled back or halted their spending on Twitter amid Musk’s chaotic changes in the last two months, which have included slashing headcount and unilaterally deciding to reinstate accounts (including Donald Trump’s) that had been banned under previous management.
Twitter last week relaunched Twitter Blue, the subscription service for individuals that includes a blue check-mark, with new measures to prevent the deluge of impersonators that flooded the service and caused widespread confusion when Musk first mandated the Twitter Blue revamp last month. Twitter Blue costs $8 per month purchased on the web and $11 per month through Apple’s iOS.
“As a Twitter Blue for Business subscriber, a company can link any number of their affiliated individuals, businesses and brands to their account,” Twitter said in a blog post. Blue for Business customers can designate affiliated accounts — such as employees, brands and even “movie characters” — which will get a small badge of their parent company’s profile picture next to their blue or gold check-mark.
In addition, Twitter on Monday said that alongside the blue and gold check-marks, it is applying grey check-marks to governmental and intergovernmental accounts.
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