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Twitter Blue starts rolling out at $8 with several features, Musk may probe charges of employees selling verification tags for $15,000

Elon Musk said Twitter Blue will include long-form video, long audio, podcasts, long text, prioritized search, replies and mentions, monetisation options etc

On November 5, Twitter started rolling out Twitter Blue at the rate of $8. Initially, the feature is available only for iOS users from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. On the app’s page on Apple App Store, the new version 9.34.3 was released on Saturday. In the description, it said, “Starting today, we’re adding great new features to Twitter Blue, and have more on the way soon.”

Source: App Store/Twitter page

Twitter Blue has been priced at $7.99 per month. It will add a verification badge or a blue checkmark to the profile. The description read, “Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.”

While Twitter Blue is already available in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for some time now, its features didn’t include verification tag, fewer ads and other such benefits that are being added to the service. The existing plan was priced at $4.99 in the US and $6.99 in Australia and NZ, while it cost $6.49 in Canada.

Additional features that Musk talked about earlier including half the ads, the ability to post longer videos, priority ranking for quality content in replies mentions and search etc. will follow soon. Talking about the added benefits of the service, new Twitter owner Elon Musk said that it will include long-form video, long audio, podcasts, and prioritized search, replies and mentions. He said that in searches, posts from Twitter Blue accounts will be prioritised, which will help in defeating bots and trolls. Musk also added that the company may start sharing revenue with content creators.

Twitter employees were allegedly selling verification badge

A Twitter user WBSChairman said while replying to a tweet thread that the employees at Twitter were charging $15,000 for the verification badge. “For certain accounts, mine included, they would refuse to verify you through the standard application and then privately offer to verify you for $$ behind the scenes,” he said while urging Musk to initiate an investigation.

Musk considered the tweet worth replying to and agreed that an investigation was required into the allegations. WBSChairman further added that people were upset because everyone would be able to get a verification badge for just $8 while they paid $15,000.

Several netizens levelled similar allegations which might solve the long-lasting question about some random accounts getting verified but genuine accounts getting denied the verification badge for unknown reasons.

Twitter Blue to reach India in a month

Twitter user Cricprabhu tagged Elon Musk and questioned when Twitter Blue will be rolled out in India. Musk replied he was hopeful that it would happen in less than a month.

While Twitter Blue is currently priced at $8 at the five countries where it is available, the price for India could be lower. Musk had earlier informed that the cost in different countries will be different as per purchasing power parity (PPP) with the US Dollar. According to World Bank data for last year, the PPP factor of the Indian Rupee was 23, therefore the price in India could be around Rs 185.

Twitter Blue users get the ability to upload longer videos

Elon Musk said while replying to a tweet about longer videos that Twitter will allow 1080-resolution long videos up to 42 minutes initially, which will be increased to several hours in a month or so. Content creators will be allowed to monetise their videos uploaded to the platform, which will make Twitter a direct competitor of YouTube.

He further added that the monetization of the content will be improved so that the content creators get better options compared to YouTube and other platforms. One of the users said YouTube shares 55% of the revenue with the content creators to which Musk said, “We can beat that”. If what Musk says is going to become reality, Twitter’s revenue is expected to skyrocket within the next few months.

Musk determined to improve Twitter search

Another issue with Twitter that most of the users face is the search option. In a tweet, Musk said, “Search within Twitter reminds me of Infoseek in ‘98! That will also get a lot better pronto.”

A Twitter user also suggested integrating the advanced search option into the main app. Currently, users have to click on the three dots next to the search bar on the search page to access advanced options or use syntaxes in the search bar. However, if advanced search gets integrated into the main app, the user interface of the search will get better and easier to access.

Musk replying to the tweet said “fixing” the search was on his priority list.

Twitter threads may become a history

Though Twitter threads are not going anywhere, new features may make them obsolete. In a tweet, Musk mentioned that soon Twitter users will be able to attach long-form text to tweets. He said, “Twitter will soon add the ability to attach long-form text to tweets, ending the absurdity of notepad screenshots.”

Twitter had a 140 character limit per tweet in the beginning, a necessity when it was launched as it gave the ability to post Tweets using SMS services, without the requirement of an internet connection. The limit was later raised to 280 characters, but while the ability to tweet from text messages remains, it is not a vital feature anymore. It is notable that this feature was disabled in India as per TRAI directions.

Monetization for all forms of content

Musk further added that all forms of content on Twitter will be open to monetization.

That means photos, memes, videos, text, and anything to everything might get considered as potential monetizable content opening new horizons for the creators and Twitter equally.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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