Twitter Blue launches in India: All you need to know about the premium feature

It is available on both iOS and Android devices as well as the web. For web users, the subscription is priced at ₹650 per month and they can also subscribe to Twitter Blue at ₹6,800 annually

(L-R): Twitter Blue subscription page, Twitter Blue revamped tick, Twitter CEO Elon Musk
(L-R): Twitter Blue subscription page, Twitter Blue revamped tick, Twitter CEO Elon Musk

Amarabati Bhattacharyya

Months after launch in the United States and Europe, Elon Musk's much-talked-about Twitter Blue feature finally launched in India on Thursday. This premium subscription of the 'blue tick' on the social media app comes at a cost of ₹900 per month for mobile users.

It is available on both iOS and Android devices as well as the web. For web users, the subscription is priced at ₹650 per month; web users can also subscribe to Twitter Blue at ₹6,800 annually.

The subscription comes with a range of features and perks such as early access to features like the ‘Edit Tweet’ button, undo tweet, ability to post longer tweets, longer and higher-quality videos and obtain prioritised rankings in Twitter Spaces.

The feature also allows for fewer advertisements – premium users will see 50 per cent fewer ads than regular users on the home feed. Tweets, mentions, and replies from verified users will also be prioritised; in order to "help fight scams and spam," reads the Twitter Blue description.

Other benefits include the ability to set custom app icons, NFT profile pictures, themes, custom navigation options, unlimited bookmarks and the ability to bookmark folders and more.

While most of these features are available to Indian users, the half ads and priority in feed features are listed as 'Coming Soon'.

Furthermore, it may take a while for Indian users to view the blue tick beside their handles, but they will be able to access the said perks.

Users can subscribe to Twitter Blue using their verified phone numbers or email IDs. However, if your account has been inactive for the last 30 days or more and is not 90 days old, you will not be able to subscribe.

The feature is already running in various countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK, among others.

Departing from the old blue tick which was rolled out primarily to 'verify accounts of public interest', the new and revamped 'blue tick' can be bought by all 'real' users of the micro-blogging platform.

Twitter's old guidelines stated: “The blue Verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. To receive the blue badge, your account must be authentic, notable, and active.” However, since his takeover, Musk announced the decision to monetise the blue tick.  

Besides generating revenue for the company which has been battling losses since his acquisition, Musk has justified the decision to make money out of the blue tick as an attempt to give “power to the people”.

Within Musk's numerous 'updates', this one in particular has given rise to significant debate and discussion amid Twitter users. While some users are thrilled with not having to fit their thoughts within 280 characters anymore, most users have defined this move as a "loot" and one of Musk's many "impulsive eccentricities".

A verified Twitter user Martin Lewis wrote, “Having campaigned against PAID-FOR scam ads for years, I'm concerned that rumours Twitter will turn the verified #blueTick into a paid-for option. Scammers, shysters, criminals are likely to be happy to pay for, and manipulate this, for a veneer of legitimacy.”

Another verified account Chris Bryant wrote, “Dear Mr Musk, I never sought a blue tick, I’m not sure whether I have one and I don’t care if you remove it (if I have it). I’m certainly not paying for your validation.”

Indian users reacted to the announcement by flooding the platform with memes.

During his initial announcement, Musk had also tweeted that the subscription rate will be adjusted on purchasing power parity (PPP) with the US dollar for every nation. Various users and media reports have tried to predict the cost for India since then.

According to an Outlook India report: "In India's case, the PPP is estimated to be 23.14 local currency units (LCU) per international dollars, according to the latest available World Bank data. This means that to purchase a $1-worth service, 23.14 rupees is needed. By this estimate, an $8 monthly subscription fee for the blue tick will cost around ₹185." Netizens of Twitter also claimed that it would be priced at ₹719.

Since ₹900 pricing announcement, Indian users have expressed their disbelief and disinterest with the feature.

Users had also raised doubts as to how to differentiate between existing blue tick users and the ones who have bought it. To tackle this confusion, the platform has defined the different categories of blue ticks. Users can click on the tick and find out how it was obtained.

Already verified users, such as celebrities, politicians, journalists, etc will have a message: "This account is verified because it’s notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category." Users who have bought the service will have a message: "This account is verified because it is subscribed to Twitter Blue."

Additionally, verified businesses and Twitter affiliates will have a gold tick, to help differentiate between verified individuals and organisations.

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