Before Elon Musk’s takeover last year, Twitter verified accounts of public interest based on certain criteria. Many times, the process was opaque and blue badges were arbitrarily given.

Twitter will remove blue verified badges from profiles without a Twitter Blue subscription today, April 20 (4/20). The company initially announced plans to remove the legacy blue ticks on April 1, but the change applied to select accounts. However, Twitter and its owner Elon Musk appear to be firm with the decision this time and want all users to get a subscription to retain the blue badge.

Before Elon Musk’s takeover last year, Twitter verified accounts of public interest, such as journalists, actors, politicians, etc. The badge also represents authenticity, since there could be many fake accounts of celebrities and notable profiles. However, Musk believes that the badge creates a status symbol and he wants anyone on the platform to be verified for a minimal fee.

Twitter has also laid down rules for a profile to be verified. For instance, Twitter says an account must be active in the past 30 days to subscribe to Twitter Blue. The account also must not have signs of being misleading or deceptive. Moreover, only users with a verified mobile number can get the blue tick on the platform.

However, these measures may not be full-proof as there are many accounts on the platform, managed by humans but exhibit spam-like behaviour. Easy verifications may solidify their spam-like behaviour on Twitter.

In the old system, users with the legacy badge were followed by Twitter’s Verified profile. The profile suggested that the platform had over 4 lakh verified profiles. Recently, the Twitter page unfollowed all users with the legacy blue badge.

While announcing Twitter’s decision to remove legacy blue badges, company owner Elon Musk invoked the 4/20 joke. The number is colloquially associated with marijuana smokers and Musk has also repeatedly joked about the number in the past after his photo of smoking marijuana on the Joe Rogan podcast got viral. Coincidentally, he announced his plans to buy Twitter around the same time last year. What was earlier thought to be a joke came true just a couple of months later.

It means Twitter will remove the legacy badges, if not today, but certainly tomorrow. The company is finding different ways to boost its revenue. Musk has also criticised Twitter’s previous management for running the company like a non-profit organisation. With a subscription that promises much-demanded features, such as long-form tweets and an edit/undo button, Twitter will hope for some form of cash inflow.

How to retain Blue badge on Twitter

Those with the legacy badge will need to buy the subscription or lose the blue tick.

The pricing of the Blue subscriptions varies according to the market. In India, the subscription costs Rs 900 per month via iPhones and Android smartphones. On the Twitter website, the cost goes down to Rs 650 per month. Users can also go for an annual subscription that costs relatively cheaper.


India today