Twitter Blue restart delayed, may use new color checks for organizations

An image of new Twitter owner Elon Musk is seen surrounded by Twitter logos in this photo illustration on November 8, 2022 in Warsaw, Poland.

STR | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Twitter owner Elon Musk said Monday night that the company plans to delay the relaunch of its $8-per-month Blue Verified service. Musk said Twitter will “likely use different color checks for organizations than for individuals.”

Twitter Blue was launched earlier this month but pulled after users abused the new paid option, which Musk hoped would bring new revenue to the platform. Users could pay for a blue tick previously reserved for verified users.

Musk had previously said he plans to launch Twitter Blue on 29/11.

The paid Blue subscription service led to a multitude of pranksters creating scammer accounts on Twitter. This made the platform even more vulnerable to misinformation, and many cheaply acquired ticks were used to impersonate brands, politicians, and celebrities with unflattering messages.

For example, one user posing as pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily tweeted, “We’re excited to announce that insulin is now free.”

Eli Lilly’s stock price fell sharply after the fake news was published, as did other pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie, which was also impersonated on Twitter. At the time, major stock indexes were positive amid a market rally.

Twitter has tried using two ticks, including a blue one for paid and previously verified users, and a gray “official” tick for some brands, such as. B. News Organizations. But there was a confusing overlap where some accounts had both ticks. Musk removed the “Offical” tick the same day it was introduced.

The delay comes after Musk eviscerated a majority of Twitter employees. About half of the company’s 7,500 employees were laid off earlier this month. Then last week, according to the New York Times, about 1,200 full-time employees left the company after Musk asked employees to work “long hours at high intensity” on his vision for “Twitter 2.0” or hand in their resignations.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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