Twitter Public Relations AKA Elon Musk’s personal Twitter account announced just after midnight today that Twitter will likely relaunch the verified program next week on Friday, December 2. The new program will have multiple colors for different types of accounts, and Musk says there will be manual verification before activating the tick.
Verified companies get a gold check mark, verified government accounts get a gray check mark, and individuals — notoriety or not — get a blue check mark.
Biggest Question: How does Twitter manually verify all accounts before activating the tick? The company laid off nearly half of its 7,500 employees in mass layoffs, another 1,000 left when faced with an ultimatum from Musk to get tough, and Twitter also sent 80% of its contractor staff on furlough. .
This suggests that Musk will hand over the verification work to other entities (contract companies? Amazon’s mechanical Turks?) or that it will take too long to process the roughly 400,000 verified accounts. Alternatively, the launch date could move further: Musk used the word “tentative” in his launch announcement.
Verified status appears to be free for governments and businesses; Verified status for individual accounts requires Twitter’s revised $8/month Twitter Blue plan.
Twitter originally relaunched the Verified program in early November, then pulled it back when problems surfaced.
Essentially, the new verification levels will reveal which accounts are official, but the personal verification level that the blue check has always indicated is now available to everyone.
There is still an open question, as I asked on November 9: which companies and which media outlets are big enough to be official?
What “Twitter” means by “major” media outlets remains to be seen, but there are some divisions between outlets that are big enough to be official and others that aren’t. The wording indicates that at some level there is a limit to who can be a civil servant. What that limit will be remains to be seen.
Twitter under Elon Musk is moving from an almost entirely ad-supported service to a subscription service. Twitter would need 64 million subscribers to replace the former’s revenue at its previous spending level. But now, of course, the new owner and CEO Musk has cut costs significantly, meaning far fewer bars will make the service profitable.