Elon Musk confirms payment scheme for blue checkmark on Twitter

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Elon Musk confirmed on Tuesday that he would be introducing a payment scheme for verified users on Twitter.

After officially acquiring the social media platform on 27 October, rumours arose that users would soon have to pay $20 (£17) each month to be labelled a verified user.

Before this decision, a "Verified" blue checkmark indicated that an account had applied to Twitter claiming to represent the person or organisation in their handle, and the company had verified that the account was not fraudulent. The verification process was usually but not exclusively applied to well-known people and organisations to prevent impersonation.

On Tuesday, the tech billionaire announced the payment scheme with the moniker Twitter Blue.

"Twitter's current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn't have a blue checkmark is bulls**t," he tweeted. "Power to the people! Blue for $8/month. Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity."

He explained that verified users will get priority in replies, mentions and searches, will see half as many ads and be able to post longer videos and audio clips.

Musk added, "This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators."

The SpaceX and Tesla founder suggested the $8 (£7) per month price tag after horror author Stephen King reacted to the $20 idea.

"$20 a month to keep my blue check? F**k that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I'm gone like Enron," he tweeted on Monday, referencing a company that no longer exists.

Musk replied, "We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?"