Twitter has announced that it will start removing legacy blue checkmarks from the platform on April Fool’s Day, otherwise known as April 1.
The move has been expected for months, since Elon Musk, who acquired the company in late 2022, tweeted that the old verification system was “corrupt and nonsensical”.
Legacy blue checkmarks were used by Twitter to verify individuals and entities as active, authentic and notable accounts of interest. They were given out for free based on certain criteria.
However, since December 2022, Twitter has introduced a new premium subscription service called Twitter Blue, which allows users to purchase a blue checkmark for $8 per month (or $11 per month for iOS and Android users). Twitter Blue also offers other features and perks, such as edit tweet, bookmark folders, custom app icons and NFT profile pictures.
According to Twitter, the purchase of a checkmark gives users access to “subscriber-only features like fewer ads on their timeline, prioritized ranking in conversations, bookmark folders, and the ability to craft long tweets, edit tweets and undo tweets”.
Twitter also says that the blue checkmark may now mean two different things: either that an account was verified under the previous verification criteria (active and authentic), or that the account has an active subscription to Twitter Blue.
Twitter also launched a pilot service called Twitter Verified Organizations, which adds a gold checkmark to official business accounts. This service is aimed at helping businesses “build trust and credibility with their customers and partners”.
The removal of legacy blue checkmarks has sparked mixed reactions from users. Some welcomed the change as a way to make verification more transparent and fair. Others criticized it as a way to monetize verification and alienate existing verified users.
Some also questioned the timing of the announcement, wondering if it was an April Fool’s joke or not.