As Twitter tries to continue to navigate the minefield it has found itself in this month, its new owner – and CEO – Elon Musk has announced that the re-launch of Twitter Blue is once again being pushed back.
Marking the latest instance of the billionaire changing his mind on a whim when it comes to Twitter, Musk told Twitter employees – the ones who have not been fired yet, that is – that he was holding off the re-launch of the platform’s paid verification service until the social media company could effectively prevent the proliferation of impersonators on the popular micro-blogging site. Interestingly, fake accounts surge was the bone of contention that led to firing of several former Twitter senior execs, and has now actually surged post Musk’s announcement of letting anyone purchae the coveted blue tick verification.
This means that Twitter Blue – which had been revamped and expanded earlier this month according to Musk’s goals – will not be rolling out on November’s 29, until the firm has “high confidence of stopping impersonation.”
Musk announced the same in a tweet, adding how Twitter planned to distinguished verified organizations from verified individuals. Twitter will “probably” use check marks of different colours to distinguish between organizations and individuals, though he did not elaborate on the matter, only noting that “this is still something we’re thinking through.”
While Twitter’s “verified” badge has been a Blue Tick so far, the company had briefly rolled out a new grey “Official” label to some accounts – including those belonging to governments and journalists – to denote the authenticity of such accounts.
When it comes to the mushrooming of fake accounts and impersonators, Musk had nobody but himself to blame. His grand plan of expanding the eligibility to be verified on Twitter to everyone who subscribes to Twitter Blue backfired spectacularly, which led to the prompt withdrawal of the service only a few days after its launch.
With a large number of accounts sporting the Blue Tick mark, it becomes impossible to distinguish real accounts from fake ones – those that do not specify that they’re parody accounts, that is – which results in users being misled and fed false information.
Twitter Blue, the subscription service which was launched last year, is viewed by Musk to be the lynchpin for Twitter’s business in the future. Musk is betting on Blue – which will now cost $8/month and reward all those who subscribe with the verified Blue Tick – as the company is facing financial troubles, now that advertisers are bailing on Musk, and has kept bankruptcy as a possible option on the table.
These troubles have followed Musk’s ascension to Twitter’s new owner and CEO, which resulted in a mass exodus of employees and executives alike as many refused to be a part of Musk’s “hardcore” Twitter 2.0.