The social media giant released an iOS update on Saturday when the changes were originally expected to begin. Anyone who registers for the subscription service will also qualify for a $7.99 price and earn themselves a blue checkmark, a symbol previously only offered to verified users.
The update within the Apple App Store reads, “Power to the people: Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.”
Elon Musk announced the blue check changes after buying the company and firing the executive board. Since taking over, Musk has also laid off over 750 employees from Twitter’s San Francisco Market Street office, and reports say that he has already let go of nearly half of the company’s employees worldwide.
Musk’s decision to change Twitter’s verification process has received widespread pushback.
During CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, former top cybersecurity official Chris Krebs said the verification subscription plan will lead to “a very chaotic environment,” Nexstar’s The Hill reports.
“It opens the information space to a broader community of influencers, clout chasers, election denialists and [foreign actors],” Krebs explained. “We’ve seen reports lately that Russia, China and Iran are back at their old tricks, and it is going to create a very chaotic environment.”
Others have expressed concerns that legitimate users who opt against paying for their blue check will be forced to compete against fake accounts posing as them.
Musk took to his social media platform last week to address the concerns, telling complainers, “please continue complaining, but it will cost $8.” He has referred to the change as “the only way to defeat the bots & trolls” on Twitter.