Twitter witnesses more high-level executive departures, as Elon Musk sets $8 per month fee for ‘blue tick’ users, despite protests
The first week of Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter continues to see notable changes at the influential micro blogging platform.
Elon Musk has opted to begin charging users a monthly fee for the blue tick verified account badge next to their name, as he continues to pressure Twitter staff to redesign the subscription and verification systems within one week.
On Tuesday it was reported that Twitter managers had instructed staff to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week in order to hit Musk’s aggressive deadlines and that their jobs are at stake.
Blue tick fee
Elon Musk has settled on a $8 per month fee for users wanting a blue tick besides their name.
The blue tick it should be remembered is a verified badge to let people know a particular account is authentic.
The blue tick used to be free of charge, and it often tends to be used by celebrities, public figures, politicians etc.
After he clashed with the author Stephen King earlier this week, when a monthly fee of $20 per month was being mooted, Musk responded directly to Stephen King by touting a fee of $8 per month.
Musk replied: “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”
He then confirmed the monthly fee with the following tweet.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
He then tweeted that there will be a secondary tag below the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians.
He said the fee will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators. He also mocked the blue tick as a lord and peasants situation.
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
But critics of the move have pointed to a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that “free speech” is actually a $8/mo subscription plan.
Vine it should be remembered, was a TikTok rival long before the arrival of the hugely popular Chinese app. It offered a short-form video hosting service.
Twitter actually acquired Vine back in October 2012 before its official release on 24 January 2013.
But Vine suffered a slow death from 2016 onwards, until its final closure in 2019. Its demise was blamed on Vine’s failure to support its content creators, amid a lack of monetisation on the platform.
Meanwhile, more departures at Twitter continue to be revealed, besides the reported axing of one-quarter of Twitter’s 7,000 strong workforce in a first round of layoffs.
Just after he closed the deal last Thursday, Musk fired a number of top Twitter executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal policy, trust and safety.
It has also emerged that Twitter’s general counsel Sean Edgett was let go.
Musk has also dissolved Twitter’s board of directors, and then on Tuesday Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Sarah Personette confirmed she had resigned, just a day after tweeting she had had a great discussion with Elon Musk.
Personette was Twitter’s chief customer officer and ad boss, and her resignation added to advertisers’ uncertainty over how the social media company will change under Musk.
Other Twitter executives have also resigned as well, Reuters reported.
Chief People and Diversity Officer Dalana Brand tweeted on Tuesday that she had resigned last week as well.
General manager for core technologies Nick Caldwell confirmed his departure on Twitter, changing his profile bio to “former Twitter exec” by Monday night.
Chief marketing officer Leslie Berland, as well as Twitter’s head of product Jay Sullivan, and its vice president of global sales, Jean-Philippe Maheu, have also left, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
It was not immediately clear whether they quit or were asked to leave.
There was no online confirmation from these three people. But Berland tweeted a blue heart, yet did not provide any details.