Twitter is about to take everyone's blue checkmarks away, unless you pay for one

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(Image credit: Future)

Twitter is about to pull the plug on what is likely its most controversial change yet, as the company moves to sunset its legacy verified program, starting April 1. 

Who can get verified on Twitter and why has been a huge talking point ever since Elon Musk bought the platform last year. Musk has made vocal his opposition to the current policy, while also touting plans to turn Twitter into a profitable business again. To that end, Twitter has made some massive changes. Where previously users could only get verified by being notable or important based on Twitter's guidelines, you can now buy a Twitter verification simply by subscribing to Twitter Blue. For a while now, we've had lots of "legacy" verified accounts and Twitter Blue subscribers all running around the Twittersphere with the same blue tick, as of April 1, that will come to an end.  

"On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks," the company announced this week. "To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue."

I'm feeling (Twitter) Blue

As you might expect, the reaction to such a controversial change has been hugely polarising. Some folks have lauded the change, seemingly gleeful at the downfall of the Twitter verified elite on the platform. However, plenty see the change as a win for other reasons.  

"Thank you for doing this. I’m not even being sarcastic," said Mike Drucker. "Some users on Twitter were starting to confuse me for the type of person who’d pay $8 a month to feel special. It was embarrassing."

"“Paid for Twitter blue” has become an extremely reliable predictor of quality, just not in the way that Elon meant," tech analyst Benedict Evans noted.

The influx of accounts with Twitter Blue checkmarks has even seen the rise of the infamous "this mf paid for twitter" mannequin meme. Twitter seems to know about this and is reportedly going to let users hide their blue checkmark if they'd like to enjoy Twitter Blue's features without the accompanying public ridicule. 

Twitter is also rolling out its Twitter Blue subscription globally so that everyone on the platform will be able to buy it. Features include prioritized ranking in conversation, 50% fewer ads, longer tweets, an edit button, and more. However, some of these features, notably fewer ads and ranking priority, haven't actually rolled out yet. Given Twitter's recent track record of unsuccessfully rolling out new features, whether these ever actually arrive is anyone's guess. 

Twitter Blue's initial launch was plagued by users buying blue ticks and impersonating high-profile brands. Most famously, one user impersonating Big Pharma brand Eli Lilly announced "We are excited to announce insulin is free now," wiping billions of dollars from the company's market cap and eventually leading to an insulin price cap of $35 a month which the company announced at the start of March.  

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9