Twitter has confirmed that it plans to allow users to buy blue-tick verified status. The company said the feature would be open to users for Apple devices in certain countries who sign up for its Twitter Blue service for 7.99 dollars per month. It is the first major revision of the social media platform after taking over by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is also CEO of electric car maker Tesla. The sought-after blue tick was previously only available to high-profile or influential individuals and organisations- who were asked to prove their identity. It has been used as a sign that a profile is authentic, and is a key tool to help users identify reliable information on the platform. Twitter said the changes would apply only in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand at first. Twitter Blue will roll out in India in “hopefully less than a month,” Musk tweeted in reply to a question from a follower.
Mr. Musk appears to be looking to diversify Twitter’s income, following his acquisition of the firm late last month in a 44 billion dollar deal. On Friday, he said Twitter was losing more than four million dollars per day and insisted that this gave him “no choice” over culling around half the company’s 7,500-strong workforce.
On Saturday a top United Nations official, Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk, urged Mr. Musk to “ensure that human rights are central to the management of Twitter”. The unusual UN intervention pointed to the sacking of Twitter’s whole human rights team, saying this was “not an encouraging start” under Mr. Musk’s ownership. There was no immediate response from Twitter.