Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday announced a new version of "Twitter Blue" where he planned to charge USD 8 a month for Twitter's subscription service with priority in replies, mentions, and searches.
Taking to Twitter, Musk said, "Twitter's current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn't have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for USD 8/month."
This announcement came after various media reports revealed that Twitter is planning to charge users USD 19.99 (over Rs 1600) for the new Twitter Blue subscription that brings extra features like edit and undoing tweets.
Tesla CEO further added that the new service will get the users "Priority in replies, mentions and search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam - Ability to post long video & audio - Half as many ads."
"Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity," he tweeted.
Musk also said that the new service will give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators.
This all started with the author Stephen King's tweet, according to CNN. On Monday, King tweeted, "$20 a month to keep my blue check?" followed by an expletive. "They should pay me. If that gets instituted, I'm gone like Enron." Following up later in a reply, King wrote, "[i]t ain't the money, it's the principle of the thing."
Musk replied to King early Tuesday morning with his quirky reply and a sort of proposal to charge for account verification. "[W]e need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers," he said. "How about $8?" according to CNN.
The Twitter Blue subscription launched widely almost a year ago as a way to view ad-free articles from some publishers and make other tweaks to the app, such as a different color home screen icon.
In April, Twitter accepted Musk's proposal to buy and take the social media service private. However, Musk soon began sowing doubt about his intentions to follow through with the agreement, alleging that the company failed to adequately disclose the number of spam and fake accounts on the service. In July, in a surprising turn of events, Elon Musk who had long been showing his interest to buy Twitter terminated the deal. The Tesla CEO did so by alleging that Twitter violated their mutual purchase agreement by misrepresenting the number of spam and fake bot accounts on its platform.
After Musk put out the deal termination announcement, the market saw a sharp decline. Later, Twitter sued Musk accusing him of using bots as a pretext to exit a deal. Again, last week, Musk confirmed that he would move forward with the Twitter buyout at the originally agreed price of USD 54.20 per share.
(With Inputs from ANI)