Twitter is reportedly delaying the rollout of its new premium subscription required to maintain the platform’s verified blue badge according to a report from TechCrunch.
The move comes as the US is approaching the date of its midterm elections – a major political event that increases the level of security among the country’s authorities due to the possible intervention of bad actors seeking to spread misinformation.
Elon Musk’s first order of business after he took over the social media company was to increase the price of the Twitter Blue service and incorporate new rules for verified accounts that included enrolling for this program to keep their blue ribbons.
Those who are against Musk’s decision believe that it can lead to the creation of fake accounts from verified users who opt not to sign up for Twitter Blue and lose their badges as a result.
Authorities in the US may have influenced Musk’s decision as Twitter and other platforms have been used on many occasions to misguide voters with false information about the elections. The new Twitter Blue was initially going to be rolled out today but the implementation could be postponed until later this week.
Musk’s decision to implement these new rules come as he seeks to revamp the firm’s financial performance by cutting expenditures. One of the most controversial measures adopted by Musk thus far was to lay off roughly half of Twitter’s employees – more than 3,000 workers based on the company’s latest headcount.
The new Twitter Blue subscription will cost $8 per month and will allow users to apply for verification or maintain their blue badge. In addition, they will have the possibility to share premium content formats and be prioritized in searches and replies.
What are the US Midterm Elections?
Midterm elections occur exactly two years after the President has been voted – hence their name. All of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are contested in the election and the results are typically interpreted as the country’s view on the performance of the current administration.
In the case of Joe Biden, the Democratic party will be under scrutiny during the current election as they will be putting a big effort to maintain their current majority within the House.
In addition, Democratic candidates will be running to secure governorships all across the country along with a handful of seats within the US Senate.
The latest elections have been the subject of controversy as security agencies within the country have reported a spike in malicious activities going from the hacking of social media accounts from prominent political figures to unauthorized access to one state’s voting system.
Twitter is considered one of the most influential platforms in the political landscape as public figures can exchange ideas with a broad audience and make comments about news and topics that are in the public’s primary agenda.
Why is Elon Musk Forcing Twitter’s Influencers to Pay?
The head of Tesla (TSLA) has multiple reasons to make Twitter a more profitable venture. First, Musk took a sizable amount of debt to finance his acquisition of the social media company and is now making the firm pay hundreds of millions in interest every year.
In addition, Musk’s equity financing came from multiple parties who are expecting him to turn around the company to make it a profitable business. These investors include the founder of Oracle, Lawrence Ellison, and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.
Musk’s first steps as CEO were aimed at reducing the company’s overhead. However, the next steps will focus on how to increase the firm’s revenues. On many occasions, Musk has stressed that Twitter should make most of its money out of subscriptions. In addition, some of his backers have mentioned the possibility of enabling payments between Twitter users.
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