Twitter on Saturday launched an $8-a-month subscription service that includes a blue tick now granted to verified accounts as new owner Elon Musk overhauls the platform’s verification system.
In an update for Apple’s iOS devices, Twitter said users who “sign up now” can receive the blue checkmark next to their name, “just like the celebrities, companies and politicians you already follow.”
The change marks the end of Twitter’s current verification system, launched in 2009 to prevent impersonations of high-profile accounts such as celebrities and politicians. Prior to the overhaul, Twitter had about 423,000 verified accounts, including a large number of top journalists from around the world whom the company verified regardless of how many followers they had.
Experts have expressed serious concerns about the upheaval in the platform’s verification system, which, while not perfect, helped Twitter’s 238 million daily users determine if the accounts they were getting information from were genuine. The update Twitter made to the iOS version of its app doesn’t mention verification as part of the new “blue verification” system.
This update comes a day after the company began laying off employees to cut costs. About half of the company’s 7,500 employees have been laid off, tweeted Yoel Roth, Twitter’s chief security and integrity officer.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey took responsibility for the massive job losses on Saturday. He has served as Twitter’s CEO twice, the most recent spanning from 2015 to 2021.