Elon Musk’s main policy after his Twitter takeover was to change the company’s Blue subscription service and changing the way accounts are verified. The blue ticks were initially distributed to people who distinguished themselves in fields such as politics, media and entertainment. Musk offered to do away with what he called the “lords and peasants” system that Twitter has used since the verifications were implemented. Instead of meeting a series of criteria and being conspicuous somewhere to earn a badge, Musk wants to give one to anyone willing to pay his company $8.
Although he caused a stir before the takeover by promising to set up a free speech platform, the focus seems to be on New Blue after the acquisition and the billionaire will have have teams working round the clock to meet tight deadlines and complete the project as quickly as possible. The updated version of Blue launched a day after the 2022 US midterm elections and it brought all the chaos many people predicted.
The original verification badge was not intended to be a status symbol; it is designed to show that an account is genuine and belongs to the person or company it claims to be. Although New Blue operated at one point when a government ID was required before issuing a checkmark, the badge was actually issued to anyone who paid $8, resulting in a wave of trolls impersonating politicians, corporations and celebrities. The trolls’ posts ranged from offensive statements to comments about the war in Iraq, to some tweets that caused the stock prices of major companies to fall. The ability to sign up for Blue was suspended, and Twitter went back to its drawing board.
In the current situation, Blue 3.0 is set to launch on November 29. Accounts that meet the upgrade criteria set at launch will be able to purchase Checkmark again for $8 per month. That date is later than Twitter originally predicted, but Musk seems determined to make sure his flagship feature is “rock solid” this time around.
Unfortunately for the world’s richest man, recent events may once again delay his plans to change Twitter to his liking. These recent events are also entirely his fault.
A lot of layoffs!
On Wednesday morning, Musk emailed thousands of employees outlining his vision for Twitter 2.0. This vision can only be realized if its staff accepts to be more “hardcore”, to work longer and work harder.. Furthermore, in this new system,only excellence will be a passing grade“, according to the billionaire. Employees who received the email had a choice: respond positively, confirming their commitment to Musk’s plans before 5 pm Thursday, or leave the company.
NEW: The designers leading Elon Musk’s Blue-verify project are out, along with the top web engineer. Many Twitter employees who maintain critical infrastructure have resigned. It will look like a different company tomorrow.
— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) November 18, 2022
Unfortunately for Twitter’s new CEO, hundreds of employees have decided to follow his bluff and appear to have left Twitter. As for Blue, the people running the project are also gone., according to Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer. With 12 days left before the launch date, this could indicate that important work remains to be done and Musk has a big problem on his hands. Since teams of critical engineers have also reportedly quit, there may be more important things to deal with than relaunching Blue, and even if Blue is the only problem, a whole new team may need to be assembled. So don’t be surprised if the relaunch date for paid verification is pushed back again.