Funny how people are seriously suggesting now that Twitter should offer a whole rainbow of colored checkmarks with different payment tiers (including a free one) and meanings to better categorize people of public interest.
How stupid can you be to not understand simple business plans? The whole point of Twitter Blue is not to be fair to anyone or to better identify people, but to sell a vanity trophy. That only works when it is a) hard to get and b) comes as a package deal. You cannot have a grey checkmark for “verified” user and a blue one for “verified and paying” customer, because there’s no incentive to show off the fact that you are throwing money at Elon Musk for no added benefit.
For someone who earns money through his publicity, $8/month is just a (tax deductible) cost of business. No person of public interest will think twice of it. Especially not if there’s a chance that the associated visibility boost leaves the competition in the dust.