It’s the end of an era for legacy verified users on Twitter, though it’s not surprising.
On April 1, Twitter will begin removing legacy verified blue checkmarks on profiles that were granted the once prestigious symbol in the pre-Musk Twitter era.
Because Twitter is an easy place to be anonymous (or a parody), Blue checkmarks were used to verify the profiles of public figures (celebrities, athletes, influencers), government officials, news organizations, journalists, and other noteworthy accounts to signify that the profile in question was, in fact, that person.
The social media company announced the day of reckoning in a Tweet on Thursday.
On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here: https://t.co/gzpCcwOpLp
Organizations can sign up for https://t.co/RlN5BbuGA3…
— Twitter Verified (@verified) March 23, 2023
Those wishing to keep their blue checkmark will have to sign up for Twitter Blue, a contentious subscription-based program that users can opt into for $8 a month. In addition to a blue check, subscribers will have the ability to edit Tweets, craft Tweets longer than 280 characters and upload videos up to 60 minutes long.
Musk also clarified in a follow-up Tweet from his personal account that any individual Twitter user whose account was affiliated with a verified organization would automatically receive verifications.
Any individual person’s Twitter account affiliated with a verified organization is automatically verified https://t.co/5j6gx6UKHm
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2023
This would mean that individuals who either work for or are part of organizations given a gold checkmark, an automatic checkmark given by Twitter to official businesses, will be able to retain their verified status. Organizations with gold checks have received communications from Twitter indicating that a handful (or more) of employees can retain their blue check status at no cost.
Musk’s overhaul of the verification system has been rocky.
Upon Twitter Blue’s official rollout, chaos ensued as parody and impersonator accounts were buying checkmarks in an effort to dupe followers, which had damaging, real-world effects.
Shares of drug manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company, for example, plummeted after an account pretending to be the company’s official account Tweeted out that insulin would be free.
But Musk doesn’t seem to be backing down with the use of the subscription program.
Last month, he revealed that Twitter would begin sharing ad revenue with creators that were promoting ads, but in order to be eligible for a cut of the earnings, the creators must be subscribed to Twitter Blue.
To be eligible, the account must be a subscriber to Twitter Blue Verified
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2023
Neither Musk nor Twitter has specified how long they estimate the process of removing legacy checkmarks to take.