Elon Musk’s plan to give away Blue Ticks to anyone who could afford to pay $8 a month created a lot of trouble for the platform, mainly because it diluted what Twitter’s Blue Tick for verified accounts meant. Given how people reacted to this, especially prominent Twitter users who were already verified, this decision was messy.
Now, Elon Musk and his team have come up with a way to clean up the mess to a certain extent by reimplementing what Twitter was already doing – by giving verified users a separate badge, this time, a grey one.
One of the biggest concerns that people have over Elon Musk’s plan of charging $8 a month for Twitter Blue and giving everyone a Twitter Blue Tick for verified accounts, apart from paying for a service that was free for all these years, is the fact that it will dilute the meaning and value of the verified checkmark.
Twitter Blue Tick for verified accounts was a badge that had some meaning and was much coveted among real users on the platform. Some several influential people and voices do not have Twitter’s Blue Tick badge, especially among the tech community – that should go on to show just how exclusive the badge was.
When Musk announced that people would be required to pay $8 a month for Twitter’s Blue Tick, he effectively said that anyone could become a “verified” user and, therefore, a trusted source on Twitter as long as they had $8 to spare every month. The Blue Tick would no longer be a badge to be earned.
Of course, there was a lot of backlash for Twitter charging for a feature that was, up until now, free of charge. Moreover, it makes little sense to ask users to pay for a badge when they should be asked to pay for better features.
Twitter is finally acknowledging some issues with allowing anyone to have a blue checkmark in exchange for $8 per month. The company now says that, in addition to the paid blue check, select accounts will also receive a new “Official” label, denoted by a grey checkmark, on their profiles.
According to Twitter’s Esther Crawford, accounts eligible for the new “Official” label will include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers, and some public figures. He is responsible for revamping Twitter Blue and getting more paying customers on board the platform.
Details on applying for this label are unclear, but the company says that not all previously verified accounts will get this label. You also won’t be able to pay in exchange for the label, unlike the blue checkmark, said Crawford in a statement.
Crawford has also confirmed one significant aspect of how Twitter Blue Tick will work from now on. Twitter’s Blue Tick will not require any ID verification anymore. However, the “Official” grey checkmark needs documentation or ID verification. The company will also continue to “experiment with ways to differentiate between account types,” the statement said.
So basically, all of this exercise means that the prestige associated with having a Twitter Blue Tick next to your name is being moved over to a grey tick and that Twitter’s Blue Tick will only be used to denote a user who is a paying Twitter Blue subscriber. Only Twitter Blue subscribers are eligible for the new grey verified badge. One is forced to ask the question then – what real purpose does the Blue Tick have, apart from screaming that a particular user pays Twitter a fixed fee every month?