Twitter began quietly offering its $7.99-a-month subscription model Saturday for blue check marks, saying that users who are willing to pay will enjoy additional perks like the ability to post longer videos and see half the ads they typically would.
You, too, can now have a blue checkmark by your name, the company said — "just like the celebrities, politicians, and companies you already follow."
But then, on Sunday, the company said it was delaying the full rollout of the revised subscription service until after the midterm elections. As CNN reported, despite the Apple Store announcement, the feature didn't appear to have been rolled out and the iOS app was still showing the outdated $4.99 price for Twitter Blue.
Twitter will soon add ability to attach long-form text to tweets, ending absurdity of notepad screenshots— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 5, 2022
In what felt like a rushed, poorly directed release, Twitter made the announcement in notes updated to the Twitter app; it appeared in Apple’s App Store and Google Play's Android App store.
Those who subscribe to the plan will have their tweets and other media ranked higher in the news feed than those who don't pay the monthly subscription fee — which seems like a surefire way to mute voices from the most financially vulnerable among us.
"Power to the people," the announcement reads. True, yes. However, in this specific instance, the people are only empowered... so long as they pay the monthly subscription fee. (Reportedly, the Twitter Blue subscription remained at its old price of £4.99 in the UK following Saturday's announcement.)
Other details around the update remain sparse; the announcement of the subscription model around Twitter's verification process came with a promise that there's "more on the way soon."
A major concern around the subscription model, too, wasn't addressed in the official announcement: How the company intends to prevent impersonation. According to the New York Times, Musk said on Saturday that the company would "suspend impostors and keep their money" — “if scammers want to do this a million times, that’s just a whole bunch of free money."
Sure, Jan — but how does the company intend to moderate these attempts after the community guidelines and security safety teams were gutted Friday?
We know that, as of Sunday, at least some content moderators were on the case as multiple celebrities, including Sarah Silverman and Kathy Griffin, saw their accounts suspended after they changed their display names to "Elon Musk."
Related: At Least 890 Bay Area-based Twitter Employees Were Laid Off Friday
Photo: Courtesy fo Getty Images/Matt Cardy
This post has been updated throughout.