The last Twitter users who retained the blue ticks from the company’s previous verification method had their badges retired on Thursday. If you want one of the blue badges, you’ll need to pay for the social media company’s Twitter Blue subscription service.
Twitter announced it would begin retiring its so-called legacy verification program in early April, and CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the last of the blue checkmarks would be removed on April 20.
The Twitter Blue subscription service costs $8 per month on the web and $11 on iOS and Android in the US for individuals, or $1,000 per month for businesses.
You can sign up for Twitter Blue on the web by going to Twitter.com and selecting More > Blue Twitter > Subscribe. If you subscribe on iOS or Android, go to profile menu > Blue Twitter > Subscribe. In both cases, you will need to confirm your phone number.
There are some restrictions to limit impersonation: new accounts won’t be able to sign up for Twitter Blue for 30 days, and accounts that haven’t been active for 30 days or have changed aspects of their profile (photo, display name, username) in the last three days will not be able to register, according to Twitter Blue Help Page. Twitter is “working on an updated process for new Twitter accounts to minimize the risk of impersonation and may impose and change waiting periods for new accounts without notice,” the page reads.
If you pay for the service, you will enjoy several benefits such as editing of tweets, a greatly extended cap of 10,000 characters per tweet (instead of 280), the possibility of uploading higher quality videos, more visibility broad, two-factor authentication using Texting in addition to authenticator apps and, of course, the blue tick.
Twitter said more features will be coming soon, including priority ranking in replies, mentions and search, as well as reduced ads. Leak Alessandro Paluzzi claimed that Twitter is also working on another benefit to hide the blue tick, which now only indicates that someone is a Twitter Blue follower.
The old verification program was free and granted mainly to celebrities, journalists, politicians, brands and personalities as a method of authentication. After Elon Musk bought Twitter and took over as CEO in October, he instituted the transfer of blue badges only to paying Twitter Blue subscribers to generate revenue.
Before dropping legacy checkmarks, some celebrities like LeBron James and Stephen King claimed they wouldn’t pay for Twitter Blue, only to find they had received a blue badge indicating they were subscribed. Musk tweeted that he “pays for a few personally” and replied to King implying that he had paid for his Blue subscription. James reportedly declined Twitter’s offer for a free Blue subscription, but his profile shows a checkmark suggesting he paid for Twitter Blue, according to Alex Heath of The Verge.