Elon Musk recently promised that a “rock solid” Blue Verified experience would be launched today, March 29th.
We prepared for this day, with a great deal of uncertainty that he would live up to his promise. Indeed, on Tuesday, Musk tweeted that the November 29th relaunch was off the table.
This Teflon man, who seems to jump the gun more often than not, justifies curveballs as a necessary part of innovation.
“If things are not failing enough, you are not innovating enough.” (Elon Musk)
Now Musk says that Twitter Verified will be launched on Friday, December 2nd, using different colored checks for different folks: gold for companies, grey for government and blue for individuals, whether they are celebrities or not. And verification will be done manually before any check activates. Described by Musk as “painful but necessary”, the wait list for up to 200 million Twitter users to be manually verified will undoubtedly be endless. Will the $8 monthly fee only be charged upon activation? Stay tuned.
I understand Elon’s desire to be less reliant on advertisers, as they are a fickle bunch at the best of times and their agendas cannot be ignored by any advertising platform. Paid subscriptions and/or anything that can be put in a cart seem to be the only way out of advertiser hell and the path to controlling the destiny of Twitter. Ultimately, however, Musk will never entirely control Twitter as you, the user, will determine its fate, by either choosing to use Twitter or not. That’s control, pure control.
Are you ready to pay $8/month to Tweet your heart out with a blue check mark next to your name, equally sharing that privilege with celebrities? If you could use more than 180 characters per Tweet, would that make a difference?
Twitter’s coveted blue check was previously reserved for verified accounts of politicians, famous people, journalists, other public figures and large corporations/brands. Now anyone can be a part of this elite crowd. In a social media driven culture that is largely made up of wannabees, it’ll be interesting to see how many want to cough up $8 per month to be “somebody” with a blue check next to their name.
And, if you’ve been kicked out of Twitter in the past, Elon may give you amnesty and let you back in, as he recently did to Donald Trump, who immediately snubbed the platform in favor of his own struggling new one, TruthSocial.
Here's some interesting spitball math. In a best-case scenario, if all 200 million Twitter users handed over $8 to the Company, that would bring in a revenue stream of $1.6 billion per month or $19.2 billion per year against Musk’s $44 billion investment in Twitter. It won’t take him long to break even. Interestingly, though, he has a loftier plan that could get him to the finish line much faster: growth.
“When talking about Twitter as a whole, there’s 8 billion people in the world; I’m told there’s 200 million daily users of Twitter. That’s a 7.8 billion person gap.” (Elon Musk)
Twitter advertisers have already run for the hills, including Balenciaga, General Motors, United Airlines, Pfizer and numerous high-profile brands whose advertising is managed by Interpublic Group (e.g. Coca-Cola, American Express, Nintendo, etc.). The very fact that they have done so has only added fuel to Elon Musk’s fire. He wants to be able to Tweet: “Told you so. I don’t want advertisers’ money. Good riddance”.
Putting aside his awkward dancing, non-monogamous approach to relationships, incessant Tweets and apparent comfort sleeping overnight at the office, there is no question that this man is on a mission.
We just don’t know the outcome. He believes he does, starting with an “out with the old, in with the new” policy -- sacking Twitter board members and senior executives, almost half of the Twitter workforce and taunting others to quit unless they’re prepared to commit to a hardcore working culture. He hasn’t become the richest man in the world by being Mr. Nice Guy, though psychologists say he internally fashions himself as such a person. See the man for yourself here:
This time, however, there is $44 billion riding on his biggest bet ever. As he would say: “Go big or go home”, and that’s exactly what he is setting out to do once again.
Will Twitter continue to be “today’s town square” as a force for truth? It’s the latter part of this phrase that concerns me. What is truth, who decides it is truth and how?
Now take what you’ve learned and play today’s Twitter Blue Verified Relaunch Quiz of the Day:
1. Download Quizefy app.
2. 250 free gems will be instantly deposited in your name
3. Start playing immediately for free
4. Have fun and Strut Your Smart!