If you got your blue Twitter verification checkmark the old-fashioned way—you know, by not paying for it—then I have bad news for you. The Tesla CEO turned Twitter CEO reiterated today that legacy blue checkmarks on the platform will be yoinked from users’ authenticated hands on April 1...or will they?
Twitter Verified tweeted yesterday: “On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks.” The official account also redirected individuals to the Twitter Blue signup page and organizations to the platform’s Verified Organizations page.
When asked for comment on the sunsetting of the legacy checkmarks, Twitter told Gizmodo “💩.”
This all raises the question: Why the hell would Twitter enact such a massive policy change on a day that is built on pranking and being wildly unserious? Probably because it’s a win/win for Mr. Musk either way. The announcement of legacy checkmark removal yesterday gives Musk plenty of time to gauge public opinion on the issue before April 1. If there’s enough outcry, Twitter can claim this was all just a goof for April Fool’s day, but Musk also has a notoriously awful sense of humor, so this could be a sick chance for him to pwn the h8rs.
One can imagine Musk firing off an emoji-laden tweet mocking all of the elite possessors of legacy checkmarks for believing they’d lose their prized status symbols. But it wouldn’t be a very good April Fools’ Day prank because he’s said this move is coming for months and presumably it will come at some point. Just lying about the date is pretty weak shit.
Brands regularly use April Fools’ Day to get attention with little fibs that are vaguely humorous, like 7/11 claiming it was launching new “Tiny Gulps.” Some people fall for it, some people don’t but it’s all mostly harmless. Telling people they need to start paying a monthly fee because they’ll soon lose their method of protecting themselves from impersonation would be a different ball game.
One thing that’s worth pointing out is that Twitter’s April Fools’ contribution in 2022 came in the form of a tweet stating “we are working on an edit button.” Everyone laughed, but that edit button rolled out in October. So maybe Twitter’s just built different and April 1st is the day of telling the truth.
Regardless, it comes at a time when Twitter Blue is reportedly not doing so hot, both financially and in the public eye. Twitter Blue has been the laughingstock of Twitter ever since it allowed people to pay for authentication because why the hell would anyone pay money for a basic security feature?
Well, it would appear that Twitter knows that Twitter Blue is becoming a bit of a farce. Code sleuth Alessandro Paluzzi recently discovered that the platform is experimenting with granting users the ability to hide the blue checkmark they pay $8 per month to rent. Likewise, TechCrunch reported that Twitter Blue subscriptions have only raked in about $11 million for Twitter on mobile in the first three months since the service relaunched.