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Elon Musk’s Twitter account displayed on a phone screen and Twitter logo displayed on a laptop screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on November 1, 2022.
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Twitter began rolling out changes to its platform for some users on Saturday in preparation for the launch of its revamped subscription service Twitter Blue.
Updates outlined in the App Store confirmed that users will be able to purchase Twitter Blue and receive a blue checkmark for $7.99 per month. The updates are listed as available for users in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK and New Zealand, according to the description in the Apple online store.
Esther Crawford, director of product management at the social media company, said in a series of tweets that the new version of the subscription service isn’t available for everyone yet, but a “small early group” may see updates to the platform.
“The new Blue isn’t live yet — the sprint to our launch continues but some folks may see us making updates because we are testing and pushing changes in real-time,” she wrote. “The Twitter team is legendary. New Blue… coming soon!”
Elon Musk, who became the new owner of Twitter on Oct. 28, has laid out a series of ideas for a new user verification process for Twitter, which he acquired for $44 billion.
In an earlier thread of tweets, Musk criticized the current system, which gives a blue checkmark, or verification, to notable users like politicians, members of the press, executives and organizations. Historically, the checkmark has let readers know that the account is legitimate. Other social networks, like Meta‘s Facebook and Instagram, have similar verification systems.
Musk said he plans to give “power to the people” by offering verification to anyone on the platform through Twitter Blue for $8 a month. He said subscribers will get priority in mentions, replies and search, receive half as many ads and will be able to tweet long videos and audio.
Those changes were confirmed Saturday in the updated App Store listing. The updated version of the app also promised Blue members “a better reading experience” and “early access to select new features.”
Musk said in a tweet Saturday that Twitter Blue will roll out worldwide once it is confirmed to be working in the initial set of countries.
The changes follow an earlier report from The Verge that said the Musk was considering charging as much as $19.99 per month for the subscription. Twitter employees working on the project were reportedly told they had until Nov. 7 to launch the feature, or risk being fired, according to the report.
Nov. 8 is the date of midterm elections in the U.S.