On Monday, the social network Twitter announced new features in its paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, which existed before entrepreneur Elon Musk took control of the company but on which the latter is betting heavily to try to differentiate the sources of revenue. For Musk it is the second attempt to renew Twitter’s subscription service, after the first, in November, ended in half-disaster, with the withdrawal of many advertising investments and the hasty closure of the project.
Starting December 12, users in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who decide to pay $8 a month – or $11 a month if they use Twitter from iPhone, due to Apple-imposed commissions – will be able to get a blue check on the own profile. Historically, the symbol indicated that the company had confirmed that a profile actually belongs to public figures, institutions, government bodies or companies. But since he took over Twitter in late October, Musk has repeatedly argued that he believes this system is unfair. Musk had already tried to sell the blue check for $8 a month in early November, but the first attempt quickly threw the platform into chaos, forcing Twitter to temporarily halt the project pending perfecting its functioning.
Given that the last time the company tried to introduce the paid blue check, in early November, many users had taken the opportunity to create new profiles and pretend to be companies or celebrities, this time the social network has announced that it will allow only accounts created more than 90 days ago to join Twitter Blue. Upon signup you will also be asked for a valid phone number to match your account.
Furthermore, the company requires that the accounts that want to access Twitter Blue are complete (i.e. have a name and profile photo), active (i.e. have posted something in the last 30 days), and non-deceptive (i.e. don’t spam or pretend to be someone who they are not). Once signed up for Twitter Blue, anyone who changes their profile picture, username, or display name at the top of their profile will lose the blue check until the company makes sure the profile “continues to meet its requirements.” No further changes will be permitted during the review period.
Those who used to pay for Twitter Blue, which cost $4.99 or $2.99 a month, will have to resubscribe to keep the benefits, while those who signed up on an Apple device at the old $7.99 price per month will automatically renew at $11 per month unless cancelled.
In addition to the blue check, the new Twitter Blue offers subscribers several features: subscribers will see fewer ads, their replies to other people’s tweets will tend to be shown higher than normal users, and they will be able to upload longer and higher quality videos. There’s also the ability to edit tweets after they’ve been sent (something users have been asking for for a very long time, but which could be used for disinformation purposes).
As for accounts that already had a blue check before November, Twitter said they will continue to have it now, though Musk says which will be removed “in a few months, because the way they were assigned was corrupt and senseless”. At the moment, if you hover the mouse over one of these “old” blue checks, the message appears: «This is an account verified according to the previous criteria. It may or may not be notorious.”
Twitter’s idea is to continue to distinguish accounts belonging to companies or government bodies and other authorities: the former will begin to have a golden tick (it is already happening on some profiles), the seconds will have a gray tick.
Already verified through the old process? You won’t lose your blue checkmark at this time.
However, all accounts with blue checkmarks that change their display name or profile photo will lose their check until their account can be reviewed. https://t.co/wHBWDQQRh5
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 12, 2022
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