Elon Musk’s plan to basically give away Blue Ticks to anyone who could afford to pay $8 a month, created a lot of trouble for the platform, mainly because it diluted what Twitter’s Blue Tick for verified accounts meant. Given how people reacted to this, especially prominent Twitter users who were already verified, this decision was clearly a messy one. 

Twitter plans to use a grey checkmark and ‘Official’ label for accounts that are actually verified

As per Musk and his team’s latest plan, actually verified users who pay for Twitter Blue subscriptions, will be given a ‘really verified,’ grey-coloured badge. All other subscribers will be given the Twitter Blue badge. Image Credit: AFP

Now, Elon Musk and his team have come up with a way to clean up the mess to a certain extent, by reimplementing what Twitter was already doing – by giving actually verified users a separate badge, this time, a grey one.

One of the biggest concerns that people have over Elon Musk’s plan of charging $8 a month for Twitter Blue and giving everyone a Twitter Blue Tick for verified accounts, apart from paying for a service that was free for all these years, is the fact that it will actually dilute the meaning and value of the verified checkmark.

Twitter Blue Tick for verified accounts was a badge that had some meaning and was much coveted among real users on the platform. There are a number of really influential people and voices, that do not have Twitter’s Blue Tick badge, especially among the tech community – that should go on to show just how exclusive the badge really was.

When Musk announced that people would be required to pay $8 a month for Twitter’s Blue Tick, what he effectively said was, anyone can become a “verified” user and therefore a trusted source on Twitter, as long as they had $8 to spare, every month. The Blue Tick would no longer be a badge that would have to be earned.

Of course, there was a lot of backlash for Twitter charging for a feature that was up until now, free of charge. Moreover, it makes little sense to ask users to pay for a badge when they should be asked to pay for better features.

Twitter is finally acknowledging some of the issues with allowing anyone to have a blue checkmark in exchange for $8 per month. The company now says that, in addition to the paid blue check, select accounts will also receive a new “Official” label, denoted by a grey checkmark, on their profiles.

Accounts that are eligible for the new “Official” label will include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures, said Twitter’s Esther Crawford, who is responsible to revamp Twitter Blue and get more paying customers on board the platform.

Details on how one can apply for this label are unclear, but the company says that not all previously verified accounts will get this label. You also won’t be able to simply pay in exchange for the label, unlike the blue checkmark, said Crawford in a statement.

Crawford has also confirmed one major aspect of how Twitter Blue Tick will work from now on. Twitter’s Blue Tick will not require any sort of ID verification anymore. However, it seems like the “Official” grey checkmark will need some documentation or ID verification. The company will also continue to “experiment with ways to differentiate between account types,” the statement said.

So basically, what all of this exercise means, is that the prestige associated with having a Twitter Blue Tick next to your name is being moved over to a grey tick, and that Twitter’s Blue Tick, will only be used to denote a user, who is a paying Twitter Blue subscriber, and only Twitter Blue subscribers are eligible for the new grey verified badge. One is forced to ask the question then – what real purpose does the Blue Tick really have, apart from screaming that a certain user pays Twitter a fixed fee every month?