Twitter will soon remove blue verification badges from any accounts that haven’t yet signed up to its premium service, Twitter Blue.
“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks,” the social media company tweeted on Thursday.
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
Twitter overhauled its verification system following Elon Musk’s takeover of the company in October 2022 in a deal worth $44 billion.
After a brief period of confusion as to how the platform would deal with verification, it settled on handing the blue badge to anyone who signed up to Twitter Blue, subject to a verification procedure.
In the pre-Musk days, Twitter would hand blue verification badges to those who it considered as prominent figures or organizations, such as celebrities, politicians, major brands, and news outlets. The blue check meant followers could have confidence in the authenticity of the account and be certain that it wasn’t an imposter.
Following Musk’s takeover, the company is looking more intently at ways to make the company profitable, and so it decided to link the verification system with its Twitter Blue service, which offers extra features.
Accounts that obtained a blue check before Musk came along have, up to now, been allowed to keep it regardless of whether they signed up for Blue. But as Twitter’s announcement on Thursday makes clear, that’s about to change.
It means celebrities, politicians, sports stars, journalists, and anyone else who currently has a blue checkmark, but hasn’t subscribed to Twitter Blue will lose that mark on April 1 or soon after.
Twitter Blue is available for purchase via the web for $8 per month (or $84 per year), or in-app via iOS and Android for $11 per month (or $115 per year).
Soon after taking over Twitter, Musk said that he intended to eliminate legacy badges, claiming that many were not genuine. “Far too many corrupt legacy Blue ‘verification’ checkmarks exist, so no choice but to remove legacy Blue in coming months,” he tweeted.
It’s going to be interesting to see the impact of the upcoming move to finally get rid of the legacy checkmarks. After all, if many of the currently verified account holders decline to sign up to Blue and therefore lose their verification mark, it could give any imposter accounts more clout, as neither will have a mark to show that they’re the real deal.