Twitter is trying to make paid bluecheck verification happen again following its disastrous initial launch shortly after Elon Musk took over the reins at the company on Oct. 27. The program, which immediately verified anyone who paid $8 for the program, was paused within days following the proliferation of misinformation and parody accounts, which were suspended when found. The new iteration of the program is set to arrive on Monday.
This time around, Twitter said in a statement that those who pay $8.00 a month ($11 a month for iOS) will get certain subscription perks “after your account has been reviewed,” an ostensible safeguard to avoiding some of the issues it experienced when paid verification first rolled out. As the company announced in its tentative plans for relaunch, Twitter will “begin replacing that ‘official’ [checkmark] label with a gold checkmark for businesses, and later in the week a grey checkmark for government and multilateral accounts.”
In addition to the checkmark designation, Twitter Blue subscribers will have the ability to edit their tweets, upload 1080p videos and longer clips, see less ads, have access to “reader mode,” and “rocket to the top of replies, mentions and search” — a form of prioritization to “fight scams and spam,” per the announcement. Musk has previously said that those who already possess verified badges would also have to pay within 90 days to retain their blue checkmark.
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It’s unclear if the new approach can stem the mass exodus from the platform and shore up its revenue. A growing list of celebrities have exited Twitter since Musk’s takeover. Coupled with his decision to allow previously suspended accounts back on to the platform — from Donald Trump who has not yet taken up Musk’s invitation to Kanye West who was banned again after sharing a swastika — Twitter is also losing advertisers. Towards the end of November, as a Media Matters report found, 50 of the Top 100 advertisers on Twitter had “announced or seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter,” a loss of more than $750 million in advertising in 2022 alone.
Meanwhile, Musk has been recently unveiling “Twitter Files.” Touted as being about “free speech suppression,” the three reveals providing documents from the company prior to his takeover thus far have primarily unveiled already publicly available information that has been repackaged. While Musk takes on his predecessors, he also looks to be following suit by protecting himself so he doesn’t get “Twitter Files’d” himself; he’s apparently requiring his remaining employees sign nondisclosure agreements or face possibly being sued.