As promised by Elon Musk, Twitter pulled all legacy verified blue checkmarks on Thursday. All accounts, including public figures, celebrities and government officials who refused to subtribe to Twitter Blue’s $8 monthly package, now have their verified checkmarks taken away.
The decision to make verification on Twitter a paid feature for all accounts was met with a lot of outrage on the platform. Many users, including public figures such as basketballer Lebron James and author Stephen King, insist they won’t pay to be verified. “Welp guess my blue (checkmark) will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5”, James tweeted recently.
After Twitter removed all legacy verified blue checkmarks, Lebron James and Stephen King’s accounts remained verified. “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t,” King tweeted. Musk replied to King, “You’re welcome namaste” and later confirmed that he’s personally paying for William Shatner, Stephen King, and Lebron James Twitter Blue subscriptions. Clicking on the verified checkmarks of these accounts now shows: “This account is verified because they subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”
Musk is hoping to drive Twitter’s revenue up through paid verifications. In March, the billionaire tweeted that Twitter’s advertising revenue declined by 50% between October and March. According to Bloomberg, Twitter currently has more than 500 million monthly users, but only 1% of its users have subscribed to the $8 monthly Twitter Blue service. With all legacy checkmarks now gone, seeing how users respond to the change will be interesting.