On Tuesday, Elon Musk announced a deadline for removing old blue check-marks from Twitter accounts that were verified under the company's previous administration. "Final date for removing legacy Blue checks is 4/20," tweeted the tech billionaire owner of Twitter, Elon Musk.
This implies that if you currently hold a legacy verified Twitter account with a blue badge, you will be required to pay a fee to retain the verification mark. Only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to maintain their blue checks.
Final date for removing legacy Blue checks is 4/20— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 11, 2023
The cost of Twitter Blue varies by region and depends on the method of sign-up. For users in the United States, the monthly fee for Twitter Blue is USD 11 for iOS and Android users, and USD 8 for web users. Alternatively, an annual subscription is available for USD 114.99 for iOS and Android users, and USD 84 for web users.
As per Twitter's prior announcement, from April 1 onwards, the blue check-mark badges would be taken away from legacy verified accounts, which were previously determined by the company to be noteworthy and/or genuine. However, users can avoid this by subscribing to Twitter Blue.
On April 2, Twitter updated the description of verified users to state, "This account is verified because it's subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account". Consequently, it is now impossible to distinguish between those who have paid for a blue check-mark and those who have not.
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Several celebrities have declined to pay for verification. For instance, NBA superstar and entertainment producer LeBron James tweeted on March 31 that he would most likely lose his blue check-mark because he refused to pay for verification.
"Welp guess my blue [?] will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain't paying the 5. [?]," tweeted James, however @KingJames remains verified.
Welp guess my blue ✔️ will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5. 🤷🏾♂️— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 31, 2023
Elon Musk's decision to switch to paid verification is aimed at generating additional revenue for Twitter, which the company needs.
Author Stephen King rejected the idea of paying for a blue checkmark ("F... that," King tweeted), Musk responded, "We need to pay the bills somehow!"
We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Twitter has also introduced a programme that allows businesses and organizations to charge a monthly fee of USD 1,000 for verification badges, which can either be gold for brands, companies, and non-profits or grey for governments.
Twitter initially introduced verified accounts in 2009 to assist users in identifying genuine accounts of public interest, including celebrities, politicians, companies and brands, news organisations, and others. The company did not charge for verification in the past. The goal was to help users distinguish between authentic accounts and fake or parody accounts.