Twitter announced on Thursday that beginning April 1, April Fool’s Day, it will begin “winding down” its legacy blue checkmark program.
After taking over at Twitter, Elon Musk has said on a number of occasions that the arbitrary process in place to approve legacy blue checkmarks was “corrupt and nonsensical.”
“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks,” read a tweet from Twitter Verified.
On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here: https://t.co/gzpCcwOpLp
Organizations can sign up for https://t.co/RlN5BbuGA3…
— Twitter Verified (@verified) March 23, 2023
Those who wish to keep their blue checkmark are directed to a link to sign up for Twitter Blue at $8 monthly — iOS and Android signups will be $11 per month due to app store costs, according to Tech Crunch.
Verified accounts were first introduced in 2009 for celebrities, politicians, companies and brands, news organizations, and other accounts “of public interest” — there was no fee for verification, but it resulted in what many saw as an elite class of social media users in a class all their own.
Back in December, Musk tweeted: “In a few months, we will remove all legacy blue checks. The way in which they were given out was corrupt and nonsensical.”
The assessment, which Musk repeated last month in a reply to another tweet, irked the legacy blue checks who take Twitter far too seriously.
Legacy blue checks will be removed soon. Those are the ones that are truly corrupt.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 10, 2023
The social media platform recently introduced gold checkmarks for companies and brands and grey checkmarks for official government accounts.
Twitter Blue provides Musk with a new revenue stream for a company that he said was losing $4 million a day after he took control.
In addition to a blue checkmark, the new fee gives social media users “access to subscriber-only features, like fewer ads on their timeline, prioritized ranking in conversations, bookmark folders, and the ability to craft long tweets, edit tweets and undo tweets,” Tech Crunch reported, citing Twitter.
Musk did add in a tweet Friday: “Any individual person’s Twitter account affiliated with a verified organization is automatically verified.”
The reaction from some members of the soon-to-be-extinct elite class was less than happy with the development… here’s a sampling of responses to the story led by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY:
Last time they tried this someone pretended to be Eli Lilly and tanked their stock price by pretending insulin was free https://t.co/sKc26Km8YW
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 23, 2023
The end of verification as we know it is on the horizon. https://t.co/Jk8ny2Rc10
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 23, 2023
the only value of a twitter blue checkmark now is that people might mistake you for someone who is actually notable. if you get rid of every other checkmark, then the twitter blue checkmark literally means nothing. they’re actually devaluing their own product by doing this. https://t.co/AiW6Vueoz1
— Drew Gooden (@drewisgooden) March 24, 2023
This will degrade the usefulness of the site, making time spent on it less valuable, and my guess is it won’t raise much revenue. https://t.co/Ep5DreujrY
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) March 24, 2023
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