Elon Musk is planning to ask users to pay $20 per month to get a verified badge in Twitter.
This move would be a departure from the current system, in which Twitter verifies users based on their “significance,” which the company has defined in the past as “a mix of prominence, influence, and public interest.” The new system would be more transparent, but it would also raise a number of questions.
First, would Twitter users be willing to pay for a verified badge? The company has been struggling to grow its user base and generate revenue, so it’s possible that it would see this as a way to boost both. But it’s also possible that users would see it as a cash grab and refuse to pay.
Second, would Twitter charge all users the same amount or would it tie the fee to the user’s number of followers? If it’s the latter, that could create an even bigger divide between celebrities and everyday users.
Third, would Twitter offer any other benefits to verified users? The company has been criticized in the past for not doing enough to support its most popular users. If it charges for verification, it will need to offer something more to justify the cost.
Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, would verification actually make Twitter a better place? The company has always been plagued by trolls and bots, and it’s possible that paid verification would only make those problems worse.
There’s no way to know for sure what Twitter’s plans are, but the possibility of a monthly fee for verification is certainly interesting. It would be a bold move for the company, and it would change the social media landscape in a big way.