Now that Elon Musk owns Twitter, he has given his first ultimatum to the company's staff: set up paid verification on Twitter by his deadline or quit.

According to people who know about the matter and an internal email seen by The Verge, the instruction is to turn Twitter Blue, a $4.99 per month membership that gives users access to more services, into a more expensive membership that also verifies users.

The new Twitter Blue membership will cost $19.99 as of right now, according to Twitter. Verified users would have 90 days to subscribe under the existing arrangement in order to keep their blue checkmark. On Sunday, it was told to the team members that if the functionality wasn't in place by November 7, they would be fired.

In the months before his purchase, Musk made it plain that he planned to change the way Twitter validates accounts and manages bots. He tweeted on Sunday that "the whole verification procedure is now being revised."

The first person to mention that Twitter was thinking about charging for verification was platformer Casey Newton. A Twitter spokeswoman had been asked to comment, but as of the time of publication, she had not done so.

Musk has acted rapidly to make changes at Twitter, modifying the site for logged-out users only three days after becoming "Chief Twit." He is thinking about letting go of a lot of middle managers and engineers who haven't added to the code base recently, with the help of Tesla engineers he has hired to work as consultants at Twitter.

Managers have already started compiling names of staff members to lay off, and the layoffs are anticipated to start this week. Since Musk assumed leadership on Thursday evening, those assigned to carry out his ideas have worked through the weekend and into the wee hours.

The Twitter Blue membership became publicly available over a year ago as a means to read articles from select publishers without ads and make other changes to the app, such as changing the colour of the app's symbol on the home screen. 

Advertising continued to make up the overwhelming bulk of Twitter's income in the few quarters following its launch, in which it declared results as a publicly traded business. Musk wants subscriptions to increase to account for half of the business's total income.

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