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Musk aims to charge for Twitter brand from Monday: Reports | Technology news

It has been reported that the new owner of the social media giant is planning to launch $8 subscription service from next week.

Elon Musk plans to start charging for Twitter’s blue chip as early as next week, according to media reports, as the billionaire’s closely watched plans for the social media giant quickly take shape.

Musk aims to launch his $8 subscription service for users who want to get or keep the badge starting Monday, The New York Times and Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing internal documents and people familiar with the matter, respectively.

The Tesla chief̵[ads1]7;s plans come as the billionaire seeks to boost revenue and crack down on spam accounts after completing his $44 billion purchase of the platform last week.

Despite its influential place in politics and journalism, Twitter, which launched in 2006, has rarely turned a profit and reported a net loss of $270 million in the second quarter of this year.

Under Twitter’s current system, famous users and accounts deemed to be of public interest can apply for a checkmark to verify their identity for free.

Originally introduced to prevent accounts from impersonating public figures, the badge has been seen as a status symbol and, to critics, a mark of liberal elitism.

Under Musk’s planned overhaul, users would no longer be required to authenticate their identity, according to the New York Times.

The changes will initially be introduced in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and existing users will have a temporary period to subscribe or lose the badge, the paper said.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Musk described the current verification procedure for high-profile accounts as “bullsh*t” and a “lord and peasant system.”

“Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” Musk tweeted.

Musk also plans to cut as many as half of the San Francisco-based company’s 7,500 employees, according to reports from Bloomberg and The Verge.

Musk’s takeover of the platform has become a lightning rod for the heated debate over free speech, misinformation and online hate in the age of social media.

Musk, a self-described “free speech absolute,” has criticized Twitter’s moderation policy and accused the company of favoring left-wing views.

While critics have expressed fears that Musk’s ownership of the platform could pave the way for more hate speech and misinformation, many conservatives have welcomed the takeover as an antidote to Big Tech censorship of politically incorrect speech.

Musk, who has called himself a political moderate, has spoken of the need for a “common digital town square” that allows for a diversity of viewpoints, while insisting he does not favor a “free-for-all hellscape”.

Despite Musk’s assurances, major brands including General Motors, General Mills and Audi have halted advertising on the platform as they seek clarity on direction under the new owner.

Twitter generates more than 90 percent of its revenue from advertising, which brought in $4.5 billion last year. Musk has said he wants to reduce the company’s reliance on advertisers.

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