Twitter has announced that it will begin phasing out its legacy verified program and removing the blue checkmarks associated with verified accounts starting on April 1st. The move comes as part of the company’s shift towards its Twitter Blue subscription service, which offers users the opportunity to maintain their blue checkmark status for a monthly fee.
The decision to remove legacy blue checkmarks has been in the works since Elon Musk took over the company in October last year. Musk has criticized the previous verification system as “corrupt and nonsensical” and has been pushing for a new paid verification system. Under the new system, organizations will receive a gold checkmark, individuals will get a blue checkmark, and governments will be noted with a gray check.
Twitter Blue was initially launched in December 2022, with prices set at $11/month for iOS sign-ups and $8/month for web sign-ups. However, the initial launch led to impersonations of major brands and celebrities, prompting Twitter to roll back the service and relaunch it a month later with manual authentication for accounts receiving checkmarks.
To be eligible for a blue checkmark under the new system, users must actively subscribe to Twitter Blue and meet certain criteria, such as having no recent changes to their profile photo, display name, or username (@handle), and showing no signs of being misleading or deceptive. Blue checkmarks will show on all accounts subscribed to Twitter Blue for the duration of their subscription, but will be temporarily removed if any changes are made to the display name, profile photo, or username until those changes are reviewed.
As Twitter moves towards the new verification system, some experts have expressed concerns about potential confusion regarding the authenticity of verified accounts. Nevertheless, the company is moving forward with its plans to wind down the legacy verified program and transition to the new Twitter Blue subscription model.
It remains to be seen whether the removal of legacy blue checkmarks on April 1st is an elaborate April Fools’ joke or a genuine move by the company. However, with the recent changes to Twitter’s verification system and the push for Twitter Blue subscriptions, it seems likely that the removal of legacy blue checkmarks is a genuine step towards a new era of verification on the platform.