NEW YORK: After several false starts, Twitter announced on Saturday it would relaunch its subscription service next week, including a system for authenticating accounts on the platform.

“We’re relaunching @TwitterBlue on Monday — subscribe on web for $8/month or on (Apple’s) iOS for $11/month to get access to subscriber-only features, including the blue checkmark,” the company tweeted.

A blue checkmark on an account, which indicates it has been verified by Twitter, was previously free but reserved for organisations and public figures in an attempt to avoid impersonation and misinformation.

After buying Twitter in October, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk announced his intention to diversify the company’s revenue stream beyond advertising, turning to new paying formulas for premium features.

A first version was launched 10 days after Musk took control in early November, but it caused an uproar when many fake accounts popped up pretending to be celebrities or companies. The version was quickly suspended.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2022

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