Twitter will introduce an “official” label for select verified accounts when it launches its new $8 Twitter Blue service, Esther Crawford, the company’s early stage products executive, said on Tuesday.
“Accounts that will receive [the label] include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures,” Crawford tweeted.
“Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase.”
Crawford also confirmed that the revamped Twitter Blue subscription product, which will allow paid users to have their accounts verified with a blue checkmark, will not verify users’ identities with identification cards or materials.
The announcement is the latest twist as Twitter clarifies its plans around verification on the platform under new owner Elon Musk.
On 1 November, Musk indicated Twitter would hand out blue checkmarks – which had been designed to help identify authentic and influential users – to subscribers of the platform’s premium service, Blue.
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” Musk wrote.
Over the weekend, the revamped premium service briefly appeared to have been launched, with the social media company saying in an update to Apple iOS devices on Saturday that any users who “sign up now” to its premium “Twitter Blue” service will get a blue tick. Other features that were promised as part of the premium service overhaul include half the number of adverts, the ability to post longer videos and priority ranking for content posted on the platform.
The following day, however, the New York Times reported that the company had delayed rolling out the new verification process until after the US midterm elections, amid fears that fake “verified” accounts could appear posing as politicians or news organizations.
Fake accounts for government officials are a recurring issue for Twitter globally. The announcement for the new “official” label comes after an internal push by policy executives at the company, who had strong concerns about government officials around the world being unlikely and unwilling to pay for verified check marks, one source with knowledge of the matter told the news service Reuters.
The changes to the Blue program are just one of several moving parts as Musk moves to take control over the platform’s operations. After laying off half of its global workforce last week, there were reports Twitter had asked “dozens” of people to return to work.
Twitter did not respond to a request for further comment.