Twitter is relaunching its subscription service on Monday, offering users verified status for $8 (£6.50) a month or $11 a month on their iPhone.
The move follows a botched revamp of the service last month that resulted in a host of impersonator accounts appearing on the platform as some users took advantage of the chance to launch bogus “verified” accounts for major companies and public figures.
Twitter said: “We’re relaunching @TwitterBlue on Monday – subscribe on web for $8/month or on iOS for $11/month to get access to subscriber-only features, including the blue checkmark.”
It added that users willing to pay $8 on the web or $11 a month via Apple’s app store would get more prominence on the platform than non-payers, promising that subscribers would “rocket to the top of replies, mentions and search”. Twitter said this feature would be coming soon.
According to Twitter’s website, the blue tick service is “currently available on iOS only in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, with plans to expand”.
Twitter said giving priority to subscribers would help combat “scams and spam”, referring to one of the bugbears of the platform’s owner, Elon Musk, who attempted to walk away from a deal to buy the business because of his concerns over vexatious automated accounts.
Subscribers who attempt to change their handle, display name or photo will temporarily lose their tick until the account is reviewed again, Twitter said.
Other features offered to subscribers include the ability to edit tweets. According to a trial launched by the company in September, shortly before Musk bought Twitter, users will be able to edit a tweet up to 30 minutes after it is published – with a symbol showing it has been modified. Other planned new features include offering half the number of adverts and the ability to post longer tweets.
The company also confirmed that it would introduce a colour-coded verification scheme, with businesses receiving a gold tick or checkmark and government accounts receiving a grey symbol.
Twitter did not explain why Apple users were being charged more than others on the web but Musk has been openly critical of the fees charged in its app store, which takes a cut of up to 30% on sales. In a series of tweets last month, he accused Apple of threatening to block Twitter from its app store for unspecified reasons and also said the iPhone maker had stopped advertising on the social media platform.
However, after a subsequent meeting with Apple chief executive, Tim Cook, he tweeted that the misunderstanding about Twitter being removed from Apple’s app store had been resolved.
Musk has made clear that he wants Twitter to be less dependent on advertising, which accounted for 90% of its $5.1bn in revenues last year. That need has become more urgent after the Tesla chief executive reported a “massive drop in revenue” when advertisers withdrew from the platform amid concerns about content moderation, with the outbreak of “verified” impostor accounts exacerbating those concerns.