Late last month, Twitter Inc. announced that legacy verified accounts will be losing their blue ticks starting on April 1. However, only a few accounts including The New York Times have lost the badge after publicly announcing that they won’t be paying the USD$1,000/month (approx. UGX3.7 million) for a gold checkmark.
According to the Twitter boss, Elon Musk, the legacy blue checkmarks were given out in a corrupt way. “In a few months, we will remove all legacy blue checks. The way in which they were given out was corrupt and nonsensical,” reads Elon’s tweet.
Legacy verified accounts will have to subscribe to the paid verification service, Twitter Blue if they want to keep their blue checks. Organizations seeking verification badges will have to pay a monthly fee of $1,000 (approx. UGX3.7 million) and $50 for each additional affiliate subaccount to receive a gold verification tick, while individual accounts must pay $8 (approx. UGX30,000) through the web or $11 (approx. UGX41,000) in-app.
Following the announcement to remove the blue checkmark from legacy verified accounts starting April 1, 2023, the process is happening gradually. This could be because it is largely a manual process, according to The Washington Post, citing former employees of the company.
The microblogging social site also later changed the verification note which helped users identify Twitter blue subscribers and legacy verified users, distinguishing them from the other.
Now in a new development, Twitter’s verified account (@verified) has done a mass unfollowing of all legacy verified profiles and changed its bio as well to “Individuals can get a blue checkmark with @TwitterBlue and Organizations can sign up for Verified Organizations here: https://T.co/VerifiedOrgs”.
Twitter Verified used to follow users when they get verified —following approximately 420,000 legacy verified accounts.
Now under Twitter’s new rules, blue ticks which once showed official, verified accounts, will start to be removed from accounts that do not pay for them this includes politicians, celebrities, journalists, media houses, businesses, and organizations, to mention a few.
It is reported that several organizations and celebrities are not willing to pay for the tick.
Twitter Blue is expected to generate revenue for the company, however, concerns have been raised that without the verification process, it will be difficult to tell genuine accounts from impersonators.
As of Tuesday, it was reported that only 12,305 of 420,000 legacy-verified accounts have subscribed to Twitter Blue which is about 3.6% of legacy-verified accounts. Overall, Twitter has just barely crossed the 500,000 Blue subscribers according to data collected by independent researcher Travis Brown, who has been tracking Twitter data since January.
Following the acquisition of Twitter last year, Musk has revamped Twitter Blue into a paid verification service that gives a blue badge to everyone (I mean everyone even if you have a following of 1) who is willing to pay a monthly fee. However, while this is meant to bring in more revenue to the company, the service has reportedly made only $11M in mobile subscriptions according to data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
Twitter Blue is available worldwide, offering premium perks to subscribers including a blue verification checkmark, the ability to make 4,000-character tweets, custom icons & themes, priority ranking in conversation replies, access to the ability to edit tweets, thread reader mode, and upload 1080p and longer videos.
Last week Musk also noted that the company plans to only promote verified users through the company’s “For You” timeline which is algorithmically curated, stating other users would be visible as well in that feed.