The Twitter logo is seen on a mobile device in ths illustration photo in Warsaw, Poland on 30 October, 2022. Twitter is losing its most active users according to research done by Reuters. Despite the most impactful tweeters making up only 10 percent of the monthly users they are together responsible for 90 percent of all tweets and around half of the company’s revenue.
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In his latest series of changes to Twitter’s verification system, company owner Elon Musk said he has already “killed” the new “official” designation Wednesday that had started rolling out for some of the platform’s biggest names earlier in the day.
Twitter product executive Esther Crawford revealed details about the way the social network’s new verification scheme would work Tuesday, following the company’s acquisition by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk in late October.
Some originally verified accounts would sport an “official” label, Crawford said, while any user who pays $7.99 per month for Twitter Blue, the company’s subscription product, would sport a blue check mark. She did not specify what it took to get the “official” status.
As of Wednesday morning, several Twitter accounts, including CNBC, sported an “official” designation. By Wednesday afternoon, those labels, which appeared as gray check marks, were gone.
In an audio meeting through “Twitter Spaces” with advertisers on Wednesday, Musk said the “official” badge was “simply another way of creating a two-class system” and “wasn’t addressing the core problem.”
“Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months,” Musk wrote in a tweet. “We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.”
Crawford also acknowledged the change of course on Wednesday, writing in a tweet that “There are no sacred cows in product at Twitter anymore.”
“Elon is willing to try lots of things — many will fail, some will succeed,” she said. “The goal is to find the right mix of successful changes to ensure the long-term health and growth of the business.”
In a follow-up tweet, Crawford said the “official” label will still go out as part of the Twitter Blue launch, but it will just focus on government and commercial entities for the time being.
Musk, who is serving as Twitter’s CEO and sole director, has criticized Twitter’s original verification system, which gives a blue check mark, or verification, to notable users likely to be impersonated by bad actors.
Blue checks originally went to verify the identity of government officials, politicians, celebrities, some journalists, executives, medical professionals and organizations whose identity the company had verified. Musk himself has benefited from having the Twitter verification check mark. So have myriad journalists, including at CNBC.
In a tweet Wednesday, Musk wrote, “Blue check will be the greatest leveler.”
Under Musk’s direction, the new Twitter Blue check mark will instead work as a paying subscriber badge that the company nonetheless plans to call “verification.” The subscription service has become a major focus for Musk, who wants the platform to become less reliant on advertisers and generate more revenue from subscriptions.
— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.