Twitter launches $8 monthly subscription with blue checkmark

NEW YORK—Twitter on Saturday launched an $8-a-month subscription service that includes a blue checkmark now given to verified accounts as new owner Elon Musk overhauls the platform’s verification system.

In an update to Apple iOS devices, Twitter said users who “sign up now” can receive the blue checkmark next to their name, “just like the celebrities, businesses and politicians you already follow.” .

The change represents the end of Twitter’s current verification system, which was launched in 2009 to prevent impersonations of high profile accounts such as celebrities and politicians. Prior to the overhaul, Twitter had about 423,000 verified accounts, many of which were grassroots journalists around the world that the company verified, regardless of follower count.

Experts have raised serious concerns about changes to the platform’s verification system which, while flawed, has helped Twitter’s 238 million daily users determine if the accounts they are getting information from are genuine . The update Twitter made to the iOS version of its app doesn’t mention verification as part of the new “blue verification” system.

It comes a day after the company began laying off workers to cut costs. About half of the company’s 7,500 employees have been laid off, tweeted Yoel Roth, Twitter’s chief security and integrity officer.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey blamed the widespread job losses on Saturday. He had two terms as CEO of Twitter, the most recent spanning from 2015 to 2021.

“I am responsible for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company too quickly,” he tweeted. “I apologize for that.”

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