If your Twitter account still has one of those blue Legacy Verification Badges, you can expect it to disappear pretty soon, the company says.
Elon Musk says the last of the old guard’s blue checks, the Legacy Verification Badges, are set to begin disappearing. It’s the last step to force everyone who displays the little blue checkmark to be required to subscribe to Twitter Blue. Twitter Blue, of course, is the paid service that gives you a handful of features, including said check.
It’s a money grab, simple as that.
Twitter says the old-school legacy verification badges will begin disappearing on April Fools Day. The Verge suggests that this may not be the case, adding that the date could be significant.
On the other hand, this might be a promise Twitter manages to keep. (More on that in a minute.)
It’s also the last step to making those little badges completely useless
Originally, before Musk purchased the social media giant, it had its own verification process. People and companies they felt were worthy would receive the checkmark when they were able to meet certain conditions.
The downside is that some felt the process was arbitrary and didn’t always make sense. (Musk continues to use that as a selling point in his argument to do away with Legacy Verification Badges, after all.
But the upside was that with the old mark, you had a much more reliable sign that the account with which you interacted was the real deal.
Musk rolled out Twitter Blue late last year and promised that everyone who subscribed, for between $8 and $11 per month, would receive the famous blue check. At first, it wasn’t clear how users would be able to tell between the two. But Twitter shot itself in the foot, showing users who visited a “verified” profile whether it was verified through the legacy system or because they subscribed.
If a scammer can cheat someone out of a lot of money, what’s $8 per month to them to fake their authenticity with a single symbol?
With the two types of verifications coexisting, it provided a slightly more annoying challenge. Someone who saw the check did have to actually navigate to that profile, then click the badge to find out if it was legacy or subscription-based.
When Musk removes the last of the old-style checks, it will mean everyone who still has one will pay to have it. That, again, will mean nothing.
Except in one case.
That brings me to the case of businesses who want to keep their check. What used to be free now will have a price tag. A sizeable price tag, in fact.
Musk wants $1,000 per month — yes a grand per month — for businesses to now be verified. And if they have secondary accounts — let’s assume McDonald’s might have a Ronald McDonald Twitter handle as well. (I didn’t look to see if they actually do, but it seems like a reasonable guess.) That secondary account would cost another $50 per month on top of the already exorbitant cost.
Do I think that a business like McDonald’s would notice $12,000+ per year? Oh, I’m sure they wouldn’t. But most mom-and-pop businesses wouldn’t be able to foot that outrageous a bill. So what I expect will happen is that a lot of companies will suddenly just go without the little checkmark.
If I’m honest, if I wanted to do business with a company did was paying that kind of cost, I couldn’t help but wonder how much more they’re charging me than they should.
The goal is clear, of course
Twitter wants to convince everyone that Twitter Blue, the paid model, is the only way to go. When it removes all of the legacy verification badges, for anyone who wants the blue checkmark, Twitter Blue will be the only way to go.
Maybe some people feel it’s worth it to pay for the option to edit a tweet. You’ve been able to edit posts on Facebook for more than a decade. That simple function shouldn’t be an option that’s so extravagant that you’d have to pay extra for it.
Some might feel it’s worth it to pay to have the ability to post longer messages. But somehow, we’ve managed to get along on Twitter, begrudgingly, with whatever character limit was imposed at that given moment.
But The Verge also notes that Twitter has still not managed to keep all of its promises about Twitter Blue.
It’s also supposed to give you the option to see half as many ads and to get prioritized in conversations. The latter might be worth considering Twitter Blue for, if there were actually a chance you wouldn’t be buried in the constant stream of the feed.
But The Verge says neither of those two options have yet come to pass. So anyone who’s paying that extra monthly fee still isn’t seeing those benefits.
Yes, they get the checkmark. Yes, they can edit tweets after they’ve gone up.
But those two missing features are still listed as “Coming Soon.”
How soon is “soon”?
If the blue checkmark is so drastically important to you that you’re willing to pay Twitter to have it, go for it. Good luck on that.
If you’re a business and the check is so important to you that you’re willing to shell out $12,000 a year just to have it, I wish you good luck on that.
But I might just silently question your priorities while you flash that little symbol around.