The blue checkmark is officially back. It’s been a confusing few weeks on Twitter, but the social media site is set to reintroduce its Twitter Blue subscription today. There are a few key tweaks with the new version of Twitter Blue, which includes new features, pricing changes, and different color checkmarks.
The welcome news comes after several weeks of uncertainty about what Twitter’s checkmark actually means. We first heard that Twitter’s CEO, Elon Musk, wanted to up the subscription price to $20 a month but later knocked it down to $8 a month after some sticker shock reactions. Twitter also paused its subscription service after rampant instances of impersonation.
With the caveat that Twitter is very much in flux right now, this version of Twitter Blue seems to be official. Of course, we can’t predict the future and Musk can decide to change things up in an instant over a Tweet. Here’s what we know about Twitter Blue so far.
WHAT ARE THE NEW FEATURES OF TWITTER BLUE?
For the most part, Twitter Blue will have the same features as it used to. The major change has to do with the color of the checkmarks, where verified companies will get a gold checkmark, governments will get a gray checkmark, and individuals will stick with a blue checkmark.
Twitter says it’ll have a review process before any account gets a checkmark — an effort to prevent the previous impersonation debacle that produced some ridiculously funny Tweets.
The review process applies again when you change your handle, display name, or profile photo causing users to temporarily lose the blue checkmark until the verification is redone. Twitter didn’t reveal how its verification process will work, but Musk says that all verified accounts will be “manually authenticated” before they get the blue check.
If you’re verified, your Tweets will be prioritized — that means replies, mentions, or by Twitter’s search function. Twitter says this is another way to fight scams and spam accounts. You’ll still get all of the features from the old Twitter Blue, like fewer ads, the ability to post longer 1080p videos, edit Tweets, and use reader mode.
Musk also teased that the character limit would be increased to 4,000, representing a huge jump from the current 280-character max. This move would potentially change the quippy hot-take vibe of Twitter, but could also evolve it into a more of a blog-style social media site. Then again, this change could actually prove to be a lot more convenient than the current multi-part threads that are often a mess to navigate.
HOW MUCH WILL TWITTER BLUE COST?
The new Twitter Blue will cost $8 a month if you use it on the web or Android device, but $11 if you use it on iOS. That’s much cheaper than the $20 per month cost that was first discussed, but Apple users are likely to feel somewhat peeved by the price difference.
WHY DO IOS USERS HAVE TO PAY MORE?
This may be a result of a disagreement on business practices between Musk and Apple. Initially, Musk Tweeted that Apple was threatening to remove Twitter from the App Store. Later, he cleared it up in another tweet that summarized his visit to Apple’s headquarters, saying it was just a misunderstanding that has since been resolved.
Still, we can take a fairly educated guess that this price increase is due to the App Store’s fees, which are largely known to be a 30 percent commission. Not just with Musk, these fees have led to tiffs with other companies like Epic. If you factor in the 30 percent fees from the App Store, the $11 monthly cost for iOS users means that Twitter would still get roughly $8 from those subscribers.