Twitter Blue: what is the relaunched subscription service and how much does it cost?

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Elon Musk’s Twitter has relaunched is blue tick subscription offering - but iPhone users will have to pay a higher fee

Twitter has relaunched its paid-for blue tick subscription service, following a series of problems that marred its previous launch last month.

While the service will include additional features like the ability to edit tweets, the pricing will differ slightly, after Twitter owner Elon Musk met with Apple boss Tim Cook last month.

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How much will Twitter Blue cost, what’s changed and what else can we expect? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Twitter Blue and how much does it cost?

The Twitter Blue service means users can pay a monthly fee of $8 (£6.50) to receive a blue tick on their profile, similar to those previously given to celebrities, journalists and organisations.

In one significant change from past iterations of the offering, users on Apple devices will be charged more than those who use Twitter on other devices. Those who use Twitter on Apple devices will be charged $3 extra per month, at $11 (£9).

Elon Musk met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the end of November to discuss the tech giants’ relationship, following rumours that Apple was to remove Twitter from its App Store (later denied by Musk). The higher cost for Apple users is a way of offsetting the commission Apple charges for purchases made through its App Store.

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What else will come with a subscription?

Another feature of the Twitter Blue service is the introduction of an edit button for those who pay for the service. There have been repeated calls over a number of years, both before and after Musk’s purchase of the platform, for an edit button to be installed on the site, similar to the feature available to use on Facebook and Instagram.

Whilst it will be welcomed by many users, there are arguments that this could lead to the increase of disinformation on the platform, if users are able to change the information they originally put out.

Additionally, Twitter Blue users will see fewer ads on their timeline and their ads themselves will be available to promote more easily and to a wider group of users. They will also be able to watch and share longer videos than the current two minutes, 20 seconds length currently in place on the platform.

Previous launches of the Twitter Blue service were besieged by problems. Users struggled to identify the difference between those users who had paid for the subscription service having previously not had a blue tick and those who had blue ticks on the platform before Musk’s purchase.

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On top of that, several accounts suffered from impersonation by users who had paid the fee to pretend to be other people or companies, including Musk himself and a pharmaceutical company that saw its share price drop as a result of the impersonation. To combat this, Twitter has introduced a feature where users will lose their blue tick when they change their username or profile picture, until they can verify that the user is not impersonating somebody else.

In addition, Twitter has confirmed it will begin replacing the grey “official” labels on prominent accounts with a gold tick badge for businesses and a grey tick badge for government accounts.

Under the previous ownership of Twitter, verification was selected by the company based on a person’s profile or if they applied and had reasonable grounds for a blue tick. This new move provides an interesting change to anything seen before on a social media platform. Whether it improves the user experience or has any noticeable effect remains to be seen.

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