Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, said on Tuesday that the platform’s sought-after blue check subscription service would be relaunched on November 29, having stopped it because pranksters and scammers impersonating brands, celebrities, and other high-profile accounts had mushroomed.
The chaos resulted in a fake Nintendo account that posted an image of Mario flipping the bird and another account impersonating the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, which posted a tweet saying that insulin is now free.
Punting relaunch of Blue Verified to November 29th to make sure that it is rock solidElon Musk said in a tweet.
With the new release, changing someone’s verified name will cause the loss of the blue check “until name is confirmed by Twitter to meet terms of service”, Elon Musk said.
But after laying off half the company, thousands of contract workers (who were not notified), and firing some dissenting employees, there may not be many people left actually to do those confirmations.
The famous verified mark, or as Musk calls it, the “Blue Verified,” was previously reserved for real accounts of famous names, including politicians, celebrities, journalists, and other public figures. But, Musk introduced a subscription option where anyone willing to pay can be given the blue check. The change came a week after Musk took over the social media company in a $44 billion deal.
Musk said a paid subscription plan to get verified was coming on Twitter to “give power to the people.” But, what came after caused the suspension of the option.
Esther Crawford, head of early-stage products at Twitter, tweeted that the new Twitter Blue “does not include ID verification”, but is a paid subscription that offers a blue checkmark “and access to select features”.
Twitter announced blue check resumption this week
Twitter Blue will “probably [come back] end of next week”, the CEO, Elon Musk, responded to a user who had asked on Saturday.
Several users reported that the new $8 subscription option for the verified mark had disappeared on Friday. The label was originally introduced on Wednesday but “killed” by Musk just hours later.
On Thursday, in his first memo, Musk warned that Twitter would not be able to “survive the upcoming economic downturn” if it failed to boost subscription revenue to offset falling advertising income, three people who saw the message told Reuters.
Twitter, which was losing advertisers even before paid verification launched, has seen even more brands pull back from the platform since the halted rollout of Twitter Blue.
The infamous blue check subscription option led to several companies suspending advertisements on the platform, including General Motors, General Mills, Audi, Volkswagen, and several others. One of the world’s largest advertising companies, Omnicom Media Group, also paused ads on Twitter.
In addition to the “official” labels, Musk has proposed companies may be better able to identify official accounts, including a suggestion that organisations will be able to “identify which other Twitter accounts are actually associated with them.”
What else? Musk added in his latest thread about the Twitter Blue relaunch that all unpaid legacy blue checkmarks “will be removed in a few months”.
Responding to a user who asked him if the ‘Official’ label will be used for celebrities and other notable figures, Musk said: “Hard to say who’s celeb and who isn’t. Being able to sort by follower count and disallowing deliberate impersonation probably solves this.”
In other news: Elon Musk issued an ultimatum to Twitter employees Wednesday morning: Commit to a new “hardcore” Twitter or leave the company with severance.
“If you are sure that you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes on the link below,” read the email to all staff, which linked to an online form.
Anyone who did not sign the pledge by 5 PM Eastern time Thursday was told they would receive three months of severance pay, the message said.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!