Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will End Verification Status 'in Coming Months'
After causing quite an uproar over the $8 per month Twitter verification status fee, new owner, Elon Musk has announced the end of it.
The Tesla CEO announced his plans to dismantle the social media's decades-plus-old verification program that was made to increase trust in the social network by giving a visual signifier to high-profile accounts.
In the future, Musk's $7.99/month Twitter Blue subscription will be the only way to get the "verified" blue check-mar. However, the identities of the users who pay for that are not actually going to be verified by Twitter.
"Far too many corrupt legacy Blue 'verification' checkmarks exist, so no choice but to remove legacy Blue in coming months," he tweeted in reply to a user who questioned why her "legacy" verification status was now showing up as a Twitter Blue verified account.
"Blue check will be the great leveler," Musk tweeted earlier this week after he abruptly canceled the social media platform's rollout of separate "official" labels for high-profile accounts, which were supposed to replace Twitter's legacy verification, Variety reported.
Entrepreneur Mark Cuban posted on Twitter that the change "killed the most valuable part of Twitter, the ability to quickly and easily find information from sources I have chosen to trust." Cuban added, "I just spent too much time muting all the newly purchased checkmark accts in an attempt to make my verified mentions useful again." Musk replied, "It's working for me. That said, we can definitely make the verified mentions tab more usable."
Twitter first launched verified accounts in 2009 to help users identify that celebrities, politicians, companies, entertainment brands, news organizations, and other accounts "of public interest" are the real deal. Since Twitter Blue "verification" launched on Wednesday, numerous parody and fake Twitter accounts have been created.
For now, the blue checkmark accounts mean one of two things: either the account was verified under the original verification criteria, or l the account has an active subscription to the new Twitter Blue subscription service. Those wondering can pull up a message by clicking on the badge that will explain which "verified" status it has.
Musk is the world's richest individual and is the CEO of Twitter, Tesla, and spaceX. He completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter two weeks ago and has since laid off 50% of the staff.
In his first email to company employees on Wednesday, he said remote work would no longer be allowed and that staffers would be expected to come to the office for at least 40 hours each week.
"Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message," Musk wrote in the memo. "Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a long company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate. Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!"
"Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn," adding that the company needs "roughly half of our revenue to be subscription."
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