Twitter’s been in a bit of a state since Elon Musk closed a $44 billion deal to buy it last month.
Confusion over how the platform will proceed and workforce anger over mass layoffs has left some in the Twitter community looking for an alternative microblogging app that might offer a bit of tranquility away from all the hubbub.
One of the matters currently causing a fair amount of consternation is the uncertainty over the future of the blue checkmark, a tick that appears on the profile page of Twitter’s verified users.
Musk recently said that he plans to offer the once-coveted checkmark to anyone that pays a new $8 monthly fee (up from $3) for Twitter’s premium service, Twitter Blue, making it more of a Twitter Blue badge than a verification mark.
The old verification mark gave followers some assurance that the account had a genuine connection with the name attached to it, whether a person, business, or organization. But with the mark now going out to anyone willing to pay $8 a month, it appears to have lost its meaning.
Enter the new “official account” mark! That’s right, another mark featuring a checkmark and the words “official account” beside it.
Twitter product executive Esther Crawford revealed on Tuesday that the new mark, spotted recently in internal testing, will soon be applied to “select accounts,” adding that it can not be purchased and, notably, will not be automatically given to previously verified accounts.
Crawford explained in a tweet: “A lot of folks have asked about how you’ll be able to distinguish between Twitter Blue subscribers with blue checkmarks and accounts that are verified as official, which is why we’re introducing the ‘Official’ label to select accounts when we launch.”
The executive added: “Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase. Accounts that will receive it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers, and some public figures.”
Not all previously verified accounts will get the “Official” label and the label is not available for purchase. Accounts that will receive it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures.
— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) November 8, 2022
Crawford’s wording suggests Twitter may be moving away from verifying individuals, unless they’re particularly prominent. How it decides that should become apparent in the coming days when it starts to roll out the new label.
The move will leave Twitter with three types of accounts: Twitter Blue subscribers with a blue checkmark (the old verified mark); accounts with an “official” label, replacing the old verification mark; and accounts without either mark.
You might think it would’ve been easier to let previously verified users retain the verified checkmark, and to create a new mark for Blue subscribers, but this is the new Twitter, where everything is a little bit more complicated than before.
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