It’s another day at Elon Musk’s Twitter — and with it, another swift change in plans.
Musk abruptly nixed Twitter’s launch of “official” labels for verified real accounts, such as government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures. The company began rolling those out Wednesday before Musk, a few hours later, reversed the decision.
After YouTube creator Marques Brownlee noticed that the “official” tag had disappeared from his Twitter profile, Musk replied, “I just killed it.”
“Blue check will be the great leveler,” Musk tweeted. The mega-billionaire completed his $44 billion buyout of Twitter less than two weeks ago and fired 50% of the staff less than a week ago.
Musk is banking on generating subscription revenue by charging $7.99/month for Twitter Blue, which will include a blue-check mark designation (something Twitter previously applied for no charge to accounts the company deemed to be in “the public interest”). The new “official” tags were supposed to replace Twitter’s previous verification of high-profile accounts.
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” Musk tweeted on Nov. 1. “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”
It appeared that, under the revised Twitter Blue plan, the blue check-mark will not indicate that a Twitter account is verified in the way that it has been previously. On Tuesday, Twitter director of product management Esther Crawford had announced in a thread the company’s rollout of the gray “official” labels for verified real accounts. She also said the new Twitter Blue service “does not include ID verification — it’s an opt-in, paid subscription that offers a blue checkmark and access to select features. We’ll continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types.”
At this point, it’s unclear whether Twitter Blue will require ID verification or not, now that Musk killed off the plans for a separate “official” designation for high-profile accounts. Reps for Twitter did not respond to a request for clarification.
“Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months,” Musk tweeted Wednesday. “We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.”
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