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End to Twitter's legacy blue checkmarks; Pope losses tick, LeBron retains

The move has already spurred confusion. Celebrities, government officials and other notable users that choose not to pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue, the premium version, have lost the checkmark

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

Bloomberg

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By Alex Barinka

Twitter’s legacy blue checkmarks, which used to signify that a verified notable person was using the account, are now gone, with new owner Elon Musk preferring to include the icon in a paid subscription service instead. 
The move has already spurred confusion. Celebrities, government officials and other notable users that choose not to pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue, the premium version, have lost the familiar check next to their names on the app. Users immediately shared screenshots of their previous checkmarked profiles or offered other means of verification. 

“This is an authentic account representing the New York City Government,” posted @NYCGov, providing a link to a government website for verificaiton. 

“No you’re not. THIS account is the only authentic Twitter account representing and run by the New York City Government,” replied @NYC_GOVERNMENT. 

Even the Pope lost his check. But some celebrities, inexplicably, retained theirs. “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t,” the author Stephen King tweeted. LeBron James, the athlete who previously said he wouldn’t pay for a subscription, also has a blue check by his name.

“I’m paying for a few personally,” Musk tweeted.

Musk changed the rules in part to spur an uptick in subscriptions, which Twitter’s billionaire owner has said is key to future revenue growth for the platform. Advertising revenue has declined by 50% between October and March, he tweeted last month. 

After earlier announcing the plans to remove the old checks, Musk extended the deadline to Thursday, to give some verified users more time to decide whether to pay for the service. Currently, only about 1% of its users subscribe to the program, called Twitter Blue. More than 500 million people use Twitter every month, Musk has said. 

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First Published: Apr 21 2023 | 7:11 AM IST

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