Elon Musk Says Users With a Lot of Verified Followers Will Get Free Checkmarks

A lot of people with big followings are about to get their X (formerly Twitter) checkmarks back, whether they want them or not.

It seems that X owner Elon Musk is trying yet another angle to boost X subscriptions, this time by giving them away to users with high follower counts in the app.

Well, high verified follower counts that is.

As outlined by Musk, users with over 2,500 paying users following them will now get X Premium for free, while those with 5,000 blue tick accounts among their audience will get X Premium+ for free.


Well, presumably Musk believes that more people will pay for X if they see that other users have a checkmark, while he’s also likely keen to see more people using Grok, his AI chatbot, which he also recently announced will be made available to all X Premium users, not just those on its highest priced X Premium tier.

Much like the latest version of full self-driving at Tesla, which he’s also making available for free for a limited time, Musk seems confident that once more people can access these tools, that’ll increase hype, and get more additional people paying for the same.

It might also help to make blue checkmarks relevant again, with a lot of high profile users getting their tick back. As you may recall, X also gave a heap of celebrities their checkmarks again shortly after taking them away, after it realized that removing them undermines the exclusivity and perceived value of the marker.

Indeed, now, the once vaunted blue checkmark just means that you’re paying to use a free app, with most of the add-on features of X Premium not resonating with most users.

It’s the latest in Musk’s moves to boost X Premium take-up, and generate more revenue for the app. When Elon took over Twitter in late 2022, subscription revenue was a key element of his plan to maximize the company’s business value, with Musk forecasting that the company would eventually be generating half of its revenue from subscriptions.

That hasn’t worked out as yet. 

Estimates suggest that X Premium current has fewer than a million subscribers, out of X’s reported 550 million total users, while the addition of Grok, Musk’s answer to ChatGPT, has seemingly also failed to generate significant additional interest. 

Grok is the key product produced by xAI, X Corp’s AI arm, which Musk essentially created out of spite, after OpenAI told him that they didn’t want him to be part of their company. X has since spent millions on GPUs to power the new chatbot.

So really, X needs to start selling more subscriptions, but it seems unlikely that an AI bot is really going to turn the tide and bring more subscribers across.

But more people with access will increase usage, and could generate more interest in the feature. That seems like the logic at play, though again, I remain skeptical that anyone who’s not already paying for X Premium is going to care much about most of the add-on elements.

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