Elon Musk has amended Twitter’s proposed verification plans from a $19.99 charge per month to an $8 monthly fee along with several premiere features for blue-check users, the new owner said Tuesday.
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” the Tesla CEO tweeted. “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” he continued, adding the price will be “adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity.”
The change comes a day after news of the proposed plan circulated and received major backlash from verified Twitter users across media and entertainment, including literary legend Stephen King, who tweeted, “$20 a month to keep my blue check? F– that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.”
Musk also announced added benefits for becoming verified, including “priorities in replies, mentions and search” — which the Twitter boss says is “essential to defeat spam/scam” — the ability to post long video and audio and half as many ads as non-verified users.
As it stands, non-verified and verified users can post videos and voice tweets up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds, with additional audio from the voice tweet being automatically attached to the original tweet in a thread. Musk did not elaborate on the new length for verified users or if the acceptable video and audio length will change for nonverified users.
Another perk for blue-check users is a “paywall bypass” for publications, with Musk noting that the access would be up to “publishers willing to work with us.”
The new plan seems as though Musk has given into the widespread critique of his takeover of the social media platform, with Musk even changing his Twitter bio to “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator” as of Tuesday morning.
Platformer’s Casey Newton also reported Tuesday afternoon that Twitter is discussing a $99 annual Twitter Blue plan in addition to the previous monthly subscription offering. He also reported that the ability to edit tweets will be available for all users, regardless of verification status, marking a change to the feature that was only available to premium subscribers.
This story has been updated to include the annual membership option for Twitter Blue.