Elon Musk’s latest change to Twitter will be to make governmental accounts gray and company ones gold.
By Phillip Moyer | Published
Good news for anyone that wants to pay Elon Musk $8 for a Twitter checkmark! The billionaire plans to re-launch his verification system next week, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The paid checkmark will remain blue, but checkmarks identifying governments will be changed to gray, and company checkmarks will turn gold.
When Elon Musk launched his Twitter verification system earlier in November, the $8 checkmarks were the same color as every other account’s verification checkmarks — which were used to identify official accounts and real individuals. Twitter’s trust and safety team reportedly warned Musk that this move would lead to scammers and impersonators abusing the new verification system. Musk launched the new system anyway. In a shocking twist, scammers and impersonators abused the new verification system.
Ever since Elon Musk purchased Twitter, he seemed dedicated to promoting the blue checkmark as a status symbol. The new paid-for checkmark will remain the same color as verified celebrities and other public figures. Elon musk has stated that Twitter will manually authenticate the newly-verified accounts, so everyone will know that the blue checkmark means a real person paid Elon Musk $8.
Besides the new verification system, the social media company has undergone some other massive changes in the past month. Elon Musk fired Twitter’s executives immediately after purchasing the company. Then, he laid off half of Twitter’s workforce. Most recently, he announced plans to bring back suspended accounts shortly after reactivating former president Donald Trump’s suspended account.
These changes come as Elon Musk attempts to make Twitter profitable. He has previously said that the social media site, which he burdened with $13 billion in debt to complete his purchase, is losing $4 million every day.
Elon Musk’s changes to Twitter have not come without their consequences. According to Media Matters for America, advertisers have fled the platform in droves. As of November 21, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have stopped advertising on Twitter. These advertisers had paid $750 million to Twitter in 2022 so far — about $2.3 million per day. This means that, unless Musk’s changes to the platform this month have brought about $6 million in daily savings, the company continues to operate at a massive loss.
It’s unclear whether the advertisers who fled Elon Musk’s Twitter will stay away from the platform, which has reportedly been more active than ever since Musk took charge. It’s also unclear how popular the new verification system will be, but it needs to be extremely popular to make up for the company’s reported financial shortfall.
On top of Twitter’s apparent financial issues, the company now faces lawsuits from laid-off employees, claiming that the mass firings did not comply with California law. Elon Musk was also sued by laid-off Twitter employees in Ghana, resulting in Twitter negotiating with the employees to offer the legally-required severance pay.
Time will tell how Elon Musk’s new Twitter verification system will work out. It’s certainly possible that his reduced staff will be able to successfully field off impersonation with their new manual verification system. It’s unlikely, however, that enough people will pay $8 a month to make a dent in the company’s $4 million daily loss — a staggering sum that is equivalent to 15 million paying users.