Elon Musk’s owned social network, Twitter has finally followed through with the removal of blue check marks from all verified legacy accounts. This move follows the introduction of Twitter’s paid verification service, Twitter Blue which gives everyone willing to pay a blue tick next to their names.
The company confirmed on Wednesday that it would begin removing the blue checkmarks from users who didn’t pay for the company’s subscription service, Twitter Blue. By the evening of Thursday (April 20), checkmarks had begun to disappear from non-paying accounts.
Starting April 20, everyone who wishes to have a blue check mark will be required to subscribe to the revamped Twitter Blue which costs $8 (approx. UGX30,000) through the web or $11 (approx. UGX41,000) in-app. Organizations seeking verification must pay a monthly fee of $1,000 (approx. UGX3.7 million) and $50 for each additional affiliate sub-account.
Twitter had previously announced to start the stripping away of legacy check marks on April 1. However, the social site later announced April 20 as the final date in what could have been a move to pursue more legacy verified users to subscribe to Blue.
Meanwhile, while Twitter failed to follow through with the removal of verification badges on April 1, the company took away badges of some accounts including The New York Times after the publication publicly said it wasn’t planning to pay for the badge.
Musk claims that selling the verification badge to anyone who is willing to pay is “more about treating everyone equally,”
While responding to actor William Shantner who tweeted at him asking “What’s this about blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter?” Musk replied, “It’s more about treating everyone equally. There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities imo.”
It’s also worth mentioning that some legacy verified checkmarks may have been turned into Twitter Blue checkmarks. Stephen King tweeted that his account says he subscribes to Twitter Blue and has given them his phone number, but he claims that he hasn’t done either. Pro Lakers basketball forward, Lebron James also is reported to deny subscribing to Twitter Blue, despite what it says on the app.
Before Musk took Twitter private after his USD$44 billion payout, blue checkmarks were limited to notable figures in government, media, or who were otherwise in the public eye and ran a heightened risk of impersonation.
Twitter Blue is expected to generate more revenue for the company, however, according to data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the service has reportedly made only $11M in mobile subscriptions.