The last Twitter users who retained blue checkmarks from the company’s previous method of verification had their badges stripped away Thursday. If you want one of the blue badges, you’ll have to pay for the social media company’s Twitter Blue subscription service.
Twitter announced that it would start retiring its so-called legacy verified program at the start of April, and CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the last of the blue checkmarks would be removed on April 20.
The Twitter Blue subscription service costs $8 a month on the web and $11 on iOS and Android in the US for individuals, or $1,000 per month for companies.
You can sign up for Twitter Blue on the web by heading to Twitter.com and selecting More > Twitter Blue > Subscribe. If you’re subscribing on iOS or Android, head to profile menu > Twitter Blue > Subscribe. In both cases, you’ll need to confirm your phone number.
There are some restrictions to limit impersonations: new accounts won’t be able to sign up for Twitter Blue for 30 days, and accounts that haven’t been active in 30 days or have changed aspects of their profile (photo, display name, username) in the last three days won’t be able to sign up, according to Twitter Blue’s help page. Twitter is “working on an updated process for new Twitter accounts in order to help minimize impersonation risks and may impose and change waiting periods for new accounts without notice,” the page says.
If you pay for the service, you’ll get several perks such as tweet editing, a largely expanded cap of 10,000 characters per tweet (up from 280), the ability to upload higher-quality videos, wider visibility, two-factor authentication using SMS texting in addition to authenticator apps and, of course, the blue checkmark.
Twitter has said that more features are coming soon, including prioritized ranking in replies, mentions and search as well as a reduction in ads. Leaker Alessandro Paluzzi claimed that Twitter is also working on another perk to hide the blue checkmark, which now only indicates that someone is a subscriber to Twitter Blue.
The older verification program had been free and granted mainly to celebrities, journalists, politicians, brands and notable figures as a method of authentication. After Elon Musk bought Twitter and took over as CEO in October, he instituted shifting blue badges to only paid Twitter Blue subscribers to generate revenue.
Ahead of dropping legacy checkmarks, some celebrities like LeBron James and Stephen King claimed that they wouldn’t pay for Twitter Blue, but discovered that they’d been given a blue badge that showed they were subscribers. Musk tweeted that he is “paying for a few personally” and replied to King implying he had paid for his Blue subscription. James had reportedly declined Twitter’s offer for a free Blue subscription, but his profile is showing a checkmark suggesting he has paid for Twitter Blue, according to The Verge’s Alex Heath.