Elon Musk has called off the social media company’s relaunch of its blue check subscription service and he Tweeted and announced this delay. This delay from his initial tentative timeline to bring back the service on the platform. Previously the date of the relaunch was 29 November.
“Holding off the relaunch of Blue Verified until there is high confidence of stopping impersonation,” Musk said in a tweet.
Twitter rolled out Twitter Blue on Wednesday, letting users who provided an Apple ID and a phone number pay $7.99 monthly to attain verification. Previously, that badge was only available to people when the company had verified their identity, often public figures and brands.
Almost immediately, users started taking advantage of the new tool. Accounts were created impersonating politicians including President Biden and celebrities, as well as other notable people. Several also surfaced purporting to be branded, announcing fake news.
Twitter temporarily disabled sign-ups for the new service Thursday night, according to an internal note viewed by The Washington Post, to “help address impersonation issues.”
The coveted blue check mark was previously reserved for verified accounts of politicians, famous personalities, journalists, and other public figures.
But a subscription option, open to anyone prepared to pay, was rolled out earlier this month to help Twitter grow revenue as Musk fights to retain advertisers. Twitter had paused its recently announced $8 blue check subscription service, as fake accounts mushroomed, and had said Twitter’s sought-after blue check subscription service will be relaunched on Nov 29.
Musk also tweeted that Twitter added 1.6 million users this past week, “another all-time high”.
Advertisers on Twitter, including big companies such as General Motors, Mondelez International, and Volkswagen AG, have paused advertising on the platform, as they grapple with the new boss.
Hundreds of Twitter employees have also been estimated to have quit last week, following a Thursday deadline by Musk that staffers sign up for “long hours at high intensity”, or leave.