Twitter has announced that starting April 1, it will begin “phasing out” its legacy verified program and removing “legacy verified checkmarks”, telling users to subscribe to the Blue plan if they want to keep their blue checkmark.
There is a lot to unpack here. First, the announcement isn’t necessarily a surprise. CEO Elon Musk has been promising to get rid of “obsolete” blue ticks or verification badges given since November under Twitter’s previous rules, and it is repeated that they would leave several times “in the coming months”. According to Muskthose verification badges were issued in a “corrupt and nonsensical” manner (although they are actually quite useful in getting users to confirm that the celebrities they are interacting with are indeed the real person).
However, it’s also hard to ignore that April 1st is April 1st, the worst holiday, and that a big part of Elon Musk’s personality is a troll. Are extreme it’s possible that this announcement, which came from the Twitter Verified account and not Musk’s account, is just an attempt to scare people with outdated ticks. It’s a meme at this point that members of the press are over-represented in the pool of aging verified users, and these days Musk is clearly not a fan by the media.
It’s also possible that Twitter really is up to this, and the date was just chosen as a troll, as Musk likes to put 69 and 420 into almost everything He do. It also just added a huge banner advertising the change at the top of a verified Forget reporter’s timeline, so maybe it’s actually going to happen.
Even if it takes the date seriously, Musk’s Twitter has made many promises about the future of the service that have gone unfulfilled. For example, Musk announced a revenue sharing program in February, and his tweets are still all we’ve heard about it. (Several Twitter Blue subscribers have told us The edge they haven’t heard about the program either.) Musk also pledged to make “all code used to recommend tweets” open source on March 31after missing his first self-imposed deadline to do so.
He did, however keep his promise to have Twitter’s press email respond to questions with a poop emoji, which it did when we sent out a request for comment for this story.
This new timeline for the end of obsolete ticks arrives as Twitter says it has now rolled out Twitter Blue subscriptions globally, even though several promised features are still missing. If you’re a brand or a government agency that requires non-blue verification, Twitter has an application process for gray check marks for government agencies/civil servants and golden ticks for businesses (which can come at a high price in the end).