Twitter users criticize $8 fee, but how does it compare to other subscriptions?

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Verified Twitter users are criticizing Elon Musk's plan to make those users pay a monthly fee for the blue check, which helps notable figures separate themselves from spoof accounts. 

Musk revealed his plans to turn the verification system into a revenue stream on Twitter this week shortly after taking ownership of the social media company for a hefty $44 billion. 

It's not just about the $8 fee, although that did tick many users off, including actor William Shatner, who tweeted that he doesn't need "to pay for false status."

Social media users are arguing that the fee would change the meaning behind Twitter's verification system if anyone willing to pay the fee could then be verified. Historically, this system was used to verify higher-profile accounts, so other users know it’s really them. 

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"For Twitter to have value, it needs to provide valid information from legitimate sources. If anyone can pay for the appearance of validity, the site losses all value," one user wrote. 

Another argued that if anyone can afford to buy the blue check, "it loses its air of exclusivity and many of those who have actually earned it like @StephenKing won’t pay for it." 

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The famous author criticized Musk's move after Musk suggested that it would cost around $20. 

"If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron." King tweeted. 

Musk, who has a blue check mark, responded by saying the platform needs to "pay the bills" and "cannot rely entirely on advertisers." 

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Hours later Musk tweeted, "Power to the people! Blue for $8/month."

His plans still aren't clear, although he followed up with another tweet saying, "To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8." 

People expect social media for free but pay for plenty of subscription services, particularly those that stream content. While they provide entertainment, Twitter provides users with a platform. If someone with a large following uses the platform to sell products or services or for promotion, is $8 per month a big ask? How does it compare to other subscription services? (All prices are monthly.)

In this photo illustration, Elon Musk’s Twitter account is displayed on the screen of an iPhone April 26, 2022, in Paris, France. (Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images / Getty Images)

  • Netflix — Prices range from $9.99 to $14.99
  • Amazon Prime Video only is $8.99, Amazon Prime is $14.99
  • Disney+ — $7.99, $13.99 for the bundle that includes Hulu and ESPN (ad supported), and $19.99 for the ad-free bundle
  • Apple TV+ — $6.99
  • Xbox Live — $10.99
  • Xbox Game Pass Premium — $14.99
  • HBO Max — $9.99 with ads, $14.99 ad-free
  • Peacock — $4.99 with ads and $9.99 for premium and limited ads

That doesn't include subscription costs for magazines, newspapers and other premium cable channels. 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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