February 1, 2023

Twitter has blocked new accounts from getting a Twitter Blue subscription. The company has updated an official help page. It states that accounts created on or after November 9, 2022, cannot subscribe to the $8/month service “at this time”.  The social network didn’t tell when it will lift this ban. It also didn’t explain why it is restricting new accounts from accessing Twitter Blue. But, it isn’t difficult to understand the rationale behind it after what transpired over the past couple of days.

Twitter Blue is not available for new accounts

Twitter launched a revamped Twitter Blue service yesterday, throwing the coveted verification checkmark as an added perk. Perhaps, Elon Musk launched it, as the change was his plan. “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” he had tweeted days after taking over the company last month. He announced a revamp for the verification system, offering the “blue tick” to anyone who subscribes to the Twitter Blue service, rather than keeping it as a tool to identify verified accounts on the platform. But the idea had flaws.

Since the checkmark was previously only available to verified accounts, it was a sign of genuineness on Twitter. But now, anyone paying $8 to Twitter could have it. And, as soon as the revamped Twitter Blue service went official, we got to see how Musk messed this up. The platform was flooded by numerous fake accounts with the verification checkmark. We saw fake accounts for basketball star LeBron James, former US president Donald Trump, Nintendo of America, and many more prominent personalities, companies, and businesses.

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These accounts signed up for Twitter Blue right after creating a Twitter account and got the checkmark. They promoted misinformation or tried to mislead users on the platform. Since the accounts have the “blue tick,” unsuspecting users wouldn’t doubt their authenticity.

Twitter started banning the accounts shortly after the news spread across the media. But, new accounts kept popping up. Unsurprisingly, it has decided to block Twitter Blue access for new accounts. The company is seemingly taking its time to figure out a solution for this mess.

Twitter is planning a new “Official” label for verified accounts

Elon Musk likely sees the idea of selling the verification checkmark as a way of generating revenue. Many people might subscribe to Twitter Blue just for that elusive blue tick. But, with these kinds of problems, the company needs to differentiate authentic accounts from fan-made ones.

The solution is a new “Official” label for select previously verified accounts of government agencies and offices, journalists, businesses, and other prominent personalities. It briefly tested this feature yesterday. It remains to be seen if it will be widely rolled out soon or if Elon Musk has some other plans. We will keep you posted.