- Zoe Kleinmann
- Technology Editor, BBC News
Some Twitter accounts with more than a million followers have recovered their blue badge, without having to pay a penny.
The American singer Beyoncé, the captain of the English soccer team Harry Kane, the British television presenter and producer Richard Osman and the former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham, are some of those who have recovered the badge that certifies that their accounts on the network social really belong to them.
The BBC Twitter account also has its badge back and has not paid for it.
Before the social network was bought by Elon Musk, the blue badge was an identity verification badge that Twitter gave freely.
It was originally used as an authentication tool, designed to help detect fake accounts and stop the spread of misinformation.
It is now a symbol that an account has been affiliated with a premium service called Twitter Blue, which includes a verification process. There are several prices depending on where the subscription is made, but it is around US$ 8 a month.
A controversial initiative
The people who had the blue tick and who decided not to pay the subscription fee, began to lose it on April 20.
The broadcaster James O’Brien, who has 1.1 million followers, is one of those who has already recovered his badge after losing it. And he confirmed that I had not paid anything.
He also noted that some accounts with less than a million followers had also got their blue tick back, “anointed entirely at the discretion of Elon Musk.”
Eliot Higgins, founder of the research organization Bellingcat, confirmed on Friday that the Bellingcat blue badge and verification had been provided to him free of charge by the platform.
Musk has affirmed that he himself paid for the subscriptions of the horror novel writer Stephen King, of the actor William Shatner, the first to play Captain James T Kirk in the Star Trek saga; and that of the basketball player Lebron James. All of them had criticized the Twitter plan.
At the time of writing, some celebrities, such as actor Ryan Reynolds, who also owns British football club Wrexham, still didn’t have a blue tick, despite having more than 21 million followers.
It has been reported that the removal of the legacy blue ticks had to be done manually, so it is possible that the reinstall process is also a manual process that will continue in the next few days.
The Twitter Blue plan has had a troubled launch. It was initially delayed after fake accounts appeared posing as official organizations, and in recent weeks both subscribers and old verified accounts have looked the same.
Subscriber tweets have higher visibility, individual posts can be longer and have fewer ads.
Musk justified the move by claiming that the company’s finances were in dire straits when he took over and that Twitter was losing revenue. $4 million a day.
Twitter hasn’t revealed how many people have opted to sign up for its new plan so far, but app firm Sensor Tower estimated to TechCrunch that the platform had around 386,000 subscribers as of March 2023.
This does not include subscriptions made on Twitter’s website instead of its app. However, the figure is a small fraction of its base of approximately 300 million users.
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