Twitter is to charge users the infamous blue tick – the first big change since Elon Musk’s controversial takeover.
An update to its iOS app on Saturday said the feature was live in the handful of countries that have tested the premium Twitter Blue Service – which was originally launched last year.
However, the deployment of the blue tick would now be suspended until after the US midterm elections on Tuesday.
The New York Times said staff raised concerns that people could use it to impersonate political figures and post false information.
Twitter Blue, which has now dropped to $7.99 per month in the US, is currently available in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – but is expected to be available elsewhere soon, including the UK.
So what other features do you get besides the blue tick?
Embarrassing typo? Edit and cancel tweets
A long-requested feature, users can edit tweets up to five times within the first 30 minutes of tweeting: for example to correct typos or clarify meaning.
The fact that the tweet is edited is flagged and others can click to see previous versions.
Twitter Blue users also have an untweet feature, which gives a brief ‘cool down’ period before the post goes live – useful perhaps if you forgot to tag someone.
It gives a preview of the tweet and a countdown during which the message can be removed. The override period can be customized from the default 20 seconds.
Custom colors and custom navigation
Tired of the classic Twitter light blue? Fancy a pink theme or an aged black? Subscribed users can change the app icon color, as well as the overall color theme.
The navigation bar can also be customized to include destinations most used by users, such as notifications, lists, messages, top articles or explore.
The text size can also be changed.
Download much longer videos – and higher quality quality
Paying users also get first access to new Labs features being tested, ahead of “regular” non-subscribers.
These currently include the ability to post videos up to 10 minutes – instead of the usual two minutes 20 seconds – and in 1080p HD quality.
This is expected to increase to 42 minutes in the coming days as the “new blue” features roll out, meaning people can embed longer clips into their tweets rather than logging into a service like YouTube.
NFT Profile Picture
People who have dived into the world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) – possibly one of Damien Hirst’s one-off paintings – can also use their virtual purchase as their profile picture by connecting their crypto wallet.
Top Articles and Priority Ranking for Subscribers
Users can use this section to see which posts are creating buzz and being shared by people they follow.
Other promised “coming soon” features on Twitter Blue include fewer ads and priority ranking in search, mentions and replies for “quality content” posted by followers.
Although some fear that this creates a system in which other messages become harder to find.
Twitter chief Esther Crawford said that despite the iOS app update, the new Twitter Blue was not yet fully rolled out.
“The new Blue is not live yet – the sprint towards our launch continues, but some people may see us making updates as we test and push changes in real time,” she posted.
And as the massive layoff of Twitter staff continues to reverberate – something Musk says keeping company from losing money is vital – dozens of workers would now be invited to return.
Bloomberg reported Sunday that some were fired by mistake, while others were fired before it was realized their skills were still needed.