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Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday announced a monthly charge of $8 for the zealously sought-after ‘verified’ badge on the platform. The move was made to accelerate the monetisation of Twitter’s services, thereby making the social media platform less reliant on advertisements.
To add to the controversy, a recent company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Musk has fired the firm’s board of directors, making himself the board’s sole member. Without providing any additional details, the CEO stated that the new setup was ‘temporary’.
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Musk also tested the waters by reaching out to users to pay for verification. A venture capitalist working closely with Musk posted a poll asking how many users would be willing to pay for the blue tick mark which is currently used to verify higher-profile accounts. Unironically, it was revealed that 80% of Twitter users who took part in the poll denied to pay for the verification tick while the rest of the 10% were willing to pay $5 per month.
The business magnate acquired the social media platform for $44 billion last week, months after a long battle that included a legal showdown and speculations around Musk backing out of the deal.
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Several critics have previously derided the blue badges—often granted to well-known figures such as politicians, celebrities, journalists, and business leaders—as status symbols, to which Musk responded, “Interesting.”