Twitter's Subscription Service Twitter Blue: Promises Made and Broken
Twitter Blue subscriptions roll out globally, despite missing many promised features
Twitter has recently made its subscription service, Twitter Blue, accessible to individuals worldwide. Despite the fact that the subscription was previously available in almost 50 countries, the company's recent expansion represents its commitment to making Twitter Blue a more integral aspect of the service. This means that users from different parts of the globe can now subscribe and enjoy its features.
As part of Twitter's initiative to enhance its service, it has made several promises that it has yet to fulfill. In the company's announcement tweets, it highlights various benefits of subscribing to Twitter Blue, including the option to obtain a verification checkmark, the ability to compose longer tweets, receiving priority ranking in conversations, and experiencing fewer ads. However, the last two benefits have not been implemented yet, and when users click on the link to subscribe to the service, they are still listed as "Coming Soon."
The CEO and proprietor of Twitter, Elon Musk, pledged to introduce prioritized ranking in November 2022, asserting that the feature is crucial to combat spam and scams. However, despite his push for employees to work in "hardcore" conditions, the feature has not yet materialized. Musk has made several other promises, such as Twitter sharing ad revenue with Blue subscribers, which he announced in February but has yet to come to fruition over a month later. Additionally, he committed to open-sourcing the company's algorithm during the week of February 27th, but it did not occur. Musk now assures that it will happen on March 31st.
The initial relaunch of Twitter Blue under Elon Musk's leadership was turbulent. Shortly after the subscription went live in early November, numerous individuals purchased verified checkmarks to impersonate well-known brands such as Nintendo and celebrities like LeBron James. Consequently, sign-ups plummeted. The subscription was relaunched in December, and since then, it has been growing progressively.
On Thursday, Twitter announced that it is now accepting requests from government and organizational accounts that wish to obtain a grey checkmark. According to its documentation, accounts that are eligible for this verification include heads of state, members of congress or parliaments, institutional accounts at the headquarters, regional, and country levels. For instance, the National Park Service and the US president have grey checkmarks.
Twitter introduced grey checks for government and organizational accounts and gold checks for companies to mitigate the ambiguity arising from the blue check's meaning, which evolved from representing "a person or organization that Twitter has verified" to encompassing individuals or entities that pay for Blue. Elon Musk has vowed to eliminate the "Legacy blue checks" that signified verification, stating that they are "truly corrupt." However, this has yet to happen. Presently, clicking on a blue check without a Twitter Blue subscription displays the message, "This is a legacy verified account. It may or may not be notable."