Twitter Blue is relaunching today – here's what you need to know

A phone screen showing the Twitter Blue logo
(Image credit: Twitter)

To say that Twitter has endured a tumultuous few months might be the understatement of the year. Since Elon Musk took charge of the social media giant in October, the controversies have come thick and fast, with the future of the platform's premium subscription service, Twitter Blue, proving a particularly contentious issue. 

Now, Twitter Blue is relaunching – again. In a tweet from its official account on December 10, Twitter confirmed that a redesigned version of the service is going live on Monday, December 12. The cost of Twitter Blue will remain the same, at $8 a month, but will rise to $11 a month if you sign up through iOS (with Apple's App Store tax included). International pricing for the iOS bump has yet to be confirmed, but the plan currently costs £7 a month in the UK and AU$7 in Australia. 

One of the most talked about changes coming to Twitter Blue is its inclusion of verification. The new announcement says Blue subscribers with a verified phone number will get a blue tick once their account has been approved (so it sounds, at least, like some kind of manual checking will take place). 

A phone screen showing a Tweet about Twitter Blue

(Image credit: Twitter)

What you get with the new Twitter Blue

Twitter also says that tweets from Blue subscribers will be prioritized in replies, mentions and search. Those who pay the monthly fee will see fewer ads and be able to post longer videos, as well as being granted early access to new features as they're tested.

Other Twitter features that are soon to be exclusive to Blue subscribers include the ability to edit tweets, post video at 1080p quality, and access a reader mode that makes tweets and threads easier to parse on screen.

Meanwhile, the 'official' labels that have appeared on some accounts will be changed to gold checkmarks for businesses and gray checkmarks for government and 'multilateral' accounts. As yet, it's not clear what will happen to individual users who've previously been verified under the older system.

Analysis: Twitter 2.0 takes off

A laptop and phone screen showing the Twitter Blue logo

(Image credit: Twitter)

As the head of SpaceX, Tesla and now Twitter, Elon Musk certainly divides opinion – but there's no denying his willingness and enthusiasm to make changes (or in his words, innovate) as soon as he walks through the door of a new enterprise, and it's no real surprise that we've seen all kinds of tests and tweaks on Twitter over the past couple of months.

When it comes to Twitter Blue and the verification process, though, it could be argued that Musk has moved too fast. While Twitter Blue was already available before his arrival, offering a blue tick to subscribers while also hiking up prices for those who sign up through their iPhones or iPads has made the process more confusing and more contentious.

Having extra features that cost makes sense – Twitter needs the revenue, after all – but verification was originally supposed to be a way of confirming identity and trustworthiness on Twitter. Under Musk's new plan, that privilege can be bought by anyone who is able to afford it, which dilutes the appeal (and value) of having that blue checkmark in the first instance. 

We'll have to wait to see how these changes affect the social network, and whether Musk's grand plan for Twitter 2.0 can become a reality. The retooled Twitter Blue subscription goes live on Monday December 12, so we may be about to see that question answered in some respects.

No doubt there's plenty more in the pipeline, too, as Twitter – and Musk's ambitions for its future – continues to evolve. Not keen to stick around for the ride? We've rounded up three Twitter alternatives if you're looking to flip the bird. 

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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