Amid Lawsuits Over Unpaid Bills, Twitter to Charge $1,000 for Gold Verification
Twitter is reportedly looking to charge $1,000 per month to businesses for keeping their gold verified accounts. Separately, the list of Twitter’s unpaid bills has been getting longer and some have even sued the social media company.
Matt Navara, a social media consultant first broke the news and tweeted an email from a Twitter employee to an unnamed business. Along with charging $1,000 per month for the gold verification, Twitter would also charge $50 per affiliate account, as per the e-mail.
The program is called Verified Organizations and also includes “Tweet Boosting, which will increase the reach and distribution for your organization and its affiliates whenever you tweet.”
Ever since Elon Musk acquired Twitter in October, he has been trying to fix the company’s finances. He has taken several measures to lower the cost base and laid off many employees and contractors.
The extent of layoffs at Twitter has been debatable. Some reports suggested that the company now has only 1,300 full-time employees left, down from 7,500 at the time when Musk acquired the company. Musk however denied the reports and said that it has nearly 2,300 employees.
Musk has Been Looking to Cut Costs at Twitter
Musk also laid off many contractors in a bid to lower costs. Meanwhile, the company has not paid rent for some of its locations and some owners have even sued the company.
It has also auctioned several items in what looks like an attempt to raise cash. Reportedly, several Twitter employees carried their own toilet papers to the office after the company fired janitors.
Musk has also flagged Twitter bankruptcy as an option. The company’s financial woes have been intensified by the massive debt that Musk took to acquire it. It reportedly has an annual interest outgo of $1 billion on these loans.
Now Innisfree M&A, the advisory firm that advised Twitter on Musk’s 2022 acquisition has also sued the company for unpaid fees. “As of December 23, 2022, Twitter remains in default of its obligations to Innisfree under the Agreement in an amount of not less than $1,902,788.03,” said the lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court.
Among others, a software company has also sued Twitter for unpaid bills.
Musk Won the “Taking Tesla Private” Lawsuit
Musk is meanwhile no stranger to lawsuits. On Friday only, he won the class action lawsuit that a group of stockholders had filed over his controversial 2018 tweet about taking the company private.
His Twitter acquisition meanwhile worked to the nemesis of Tesla stockholders and the stock plunged after Musk took the company private. Tesla stock fell to nearly $100 on the first trading day of 2023 but is now approaching $200. Cathie Wood who bought the dip in Tesla stock sees it rising way above the current price levels.
Tesla stock has almost doubled from its lows and the momentum continued after the company posted better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2022.
Twitter is Looking at Ways to Increase Revenues
Coming back to Twitter, apart from cutting costs, Musk is also looking at ways to enhance and diversify its revenues. The company has started charging $8 per month for the blue tick verification.
It increased the price for a Twitter Blue subscription on Android to $11 which matches the pricing it was offering on iOS. Also, Twitter would offer an $84 annual subscription plan which is available only on the web and not the app.
It would also start to charge developers for API access. Musk was also seeking investors in Twitter at the same terms at which he bought the company.
It is not clear though whether any entity invested in the company as Musk himself admitted that he overpaid for buying the microblogging company.
Investing in privately held companies, including startups is mostly out of bounds for retail investors. There is however a guide on how to invest in startups.
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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.