Various reports Sunday evening indicated that Twitter will soon begin charging an account holder a monthly fee of between $5 and $20 to display a blue verification badge.
The flag is given to users with accounts that Twitter defines as “authentic, remarkable and active,” and gives confidence to followers that the account is genuine.
The move to introduce a fee to display the sign could be one of the first major changes undertaken by new owner Elon Musk, who last week took control of the social media company in a deal worth $44 billion.
Technical site Platformer said Twitter is “strongly considering” asking verified users to pay for the verification badge by subscribing to Twitter Blue, a service offering premium features that currently costs $5 a month.
“Executives at the new Elon Musk-owned company spent the weekend discussing the move and making plans related to the project, according to two people familiar with the matter,” Platformer said in its report.
Also on Sunday night, On the edge reported that the fee to keep a verification badge or get one in the future could soon cost up to $20 per month.
The tech site suggests the change could also be related to Twitter Blue, with people wanting to use the verification badge being forced to join the premium service. The report said that Twitter Blue’s monthly fee could be increased to $20, but added that the price is subject to change.
The Verge said it has spoken to “people familiar with the matter” and has also seen internal correspondence related to the matter.
In an apparent attempt to force the change, and in what some may see as a sign of things to come as the company adjusts to life under its new owner, workers tasked with making the potential changes have been told they must by November 7th or they will lose their jobs.
Suggesting the situation was moving at a rapid pace, Musk tweeted Sunday, “The entire vetting process is being reworked right now,” though he declined to elaborate.
It has been known for some time that Musk has a desire to increase Twitter’s revenue through subscriptions. In May, when the billionaire entrepreneur had already signaled his intention to acquire Twitter, Musk reportedly said that subscriptions would become a more important driver of revenue than they are now, aiming for them to provide $10 billion in annual revenue in the forecast 2028, with advertising pulling in about $12 billion. This will see ad revenue drop from 90% of total revenue in 2020 to 45% in 2028, showing how important Musk is to viewing subscriptions as a future revenue driver.
The new owner has also talked about charging commercial and government accounts to continue using Twitter, though details of that potential move have yet to be released.
Digital Trends has reached out to Twitter for more information, and we’ll update this article when we hear back.