Twitter users can sign up again for subscription service Twitter Blue at the end of this month.
That’s what owner Elon Musk of the social media company said. Musk called the date November 29 and indicated that Twitter is taking the time to ensure that the subscription service is solid as a rock. Earlier, the introduction of the new Twitter Blue, which gave paying users a blue check mark, ended in chaos.
Until recently, that blue checkmark was reserved for users that Twitter was sure were them, such as government departments, politicians, companies, artists and journalists. Twitter determined who received such a symbol and handed out the check marks for free. After Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the billionaire promised anyone could get a blue check if they paid for it. That would democratize the service.
After its introduction, many people took advantage of the blue tick by changing their name to resemble that of a company or celebrity. For example, someone from an account similar to that of pharmaceutical Eli Lilly tweeted that insulin would now be free in the United States. People also imitated President Joe Biden and basketball player LeBron James. After a few days, Twitter closed registrations for Twitter Blue.
Musk now says people will lose their blue check if they change their account name. Only when it has been checked will they get the symbol back.
Musk had been warned
According to US media, Musk was warned by Twitter staff about the possibility that people would impersonate celebrities and companies if they could buy the blue check mark. However, a seven-page document with all kinds of scenarios was not believed by Musk.
Moreover, the CEO of Tesla, who took control of Twitter at the end of October after months of trying to undo the sale, is not inclined to keep critical Twitter employees on staff. For example, the media write that Twitter software engineers who contradict their new boss at the messaging service will be fired. People who are critical of Musk’s plans in an internal message service will also lose their jobs.
The layoffs come on top of Musk’s mass layoff of half of its Twitter staff.