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When does the $7.99 Twitter Blue plan start and what is known about the new service?

The social media site is to begin its new verification programme in the coming weeks, changing one of Twitter’s fundamental features in a major way.

FILE PHOTO: Twitter logos and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration, August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Over a week into Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase and things are not plain sailing. Half the staff have been sacked (or have they?), advertisers have abandoned the site in droves, and there are murmurings of a government review into the buyout to look for national security problems.

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While this has been sizzling along in the background, Musk and Twitter announced big changes to the verification system on the platform. At present, individuals or companies can request to be verified, meaning Twitter gives them a blue tick next to their username, proving they are who they say they are. This is useful for celebrities or people Twitter has judged are of sufficient importance to protect their identity and ensure fake accounts are not masquerading as others.

In the next few weeks this may no longer be the case. Utilising the Twitter Blue service, a paid-for advertisement reduction version of the app, people can pay $7.99, or equivalent local currency adjusted for purchasing power parity, to be verified. Details are pretty scarce and it is not yet known how this will affect those who are already verified under the old system.

Twitter’s update said the changes would apply only in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand at first.

When will the changes take effect?

Responding to one user who asked what would happen to existing verified profiles, Mr Musk said the timeline for changes to be implemented was a “couple months”.

Until there is more information from Twitter, or leaks, expect the new year.