In Elon Musk’s plan to charge Twitter users as experts warn ‘right now’ for billionaires

CHOCKY Twitter fans believe Elon Musk is creating a “class system” in the app as experts warn his takeover could spell trouble for users.

Musk blasted Twitter users this week with his proposal to charge $8 (£7) a month for a subscription service that verifies paying accounts and gives them access to premium features.

Elon Musk has finally sealed his deal to take over Twitter


Elon Musk has finally sealed his deal to take over TwitterPhoto credit: Reuters

power to the people?

Musk wrote on Tuesday to his 113.3 million followers on the platform, which he bought for $44 billion, that “Twitter’s current Lords & Peasants system for those who may or may not have a blue tick, bull*** * is.

“Power the people! Blue for $8/month,” he tweeted.

Yet many on Twitter disagree with the platform’s self-proclaimed “Chief Twit.”

“It’s a class system,” wrote one user.

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Another argued, “When you say ‘power to the people’ you mean ‘power to the paying people'”.

Premium Benefits

While Musk hasn’t specified what all of the features available under this premium will be, he has confirmed some of the perks available.

These include reduced ads, priority for replies, mentions, and searches; and the option to post longer video and audio content.

Premium perks are actually nothing new to the platform. For $4.99, subscribers in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can reap a variety of rewards on Twitter Blue.

These include an edit button, bookmark folders, and a customizable app.

Musk plans to change things up. Those who pay for this new service will also receive the blue badge of honor identifying them as verified users.

badge of honour

This coveted blue tick is associated with celebrities, influencers or big brands using the platform.

However, Paul Bernal, Associate Professor of Information Technology Law at the University of East Anglia, stresses that the current issue is one of authenticity, not status.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, he said: “It’s important for celebs – sort of a branding thing – and for politicians, but also for journalists, scientists in general and of course civil servants.”

“If it becomes something anyone can sign up for for no reason other than money, it loses the authenticity factor.”

Professor Bernal fears the changes could be harmful.

“There is a great danger that legitimate trolls will sign up for the services – and then the tick will become a sign of dishonor.”

lack of subscribers

If Musk pushes the proposals forward despite this backlash, he could have trouble getting users to sign up.

“Out of approximately 300,000 verified accounts on Twitter, we would estimate that about 25 percent would pay the $8 monthly fee,” Dan Ives, chief executive of Wedbush Securities, told The Sun.

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“The problem is that with so many athletes and celebrities willing to lose their coveted blue check, it would be an ominous moment for a black eye for Musk in his first strategic move with Twitter.”

Musk hasn’t confirmed when this new scheme will be rolled out.

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