If you want to keep your blue tick on Twitter, you’ll need to hand over payment details in the coming days, according to Elon Musk.
Twitter’s CEO has confirmed that the deadline for the company to remove “legacy” blue checkmarks will be April 20, just over a week away.
The date is believed to be a sly reference to cannabis, which is associated with the number 420 due to the time of day it is traditionally smoked.
Musk was filmed smoking the drug during a live webcast with comedian Joe Rogan in 2018.
He tweeted the update and also confirmed the news in a bombastic “hastily organised” interview with the BBC, in which he accused the interviewer of lying.
Musk tweeted the new update Tuesday evening in a brief message: “The final date for the removal of legacy blue checks is 04/20.”
Musk tweeted Tuesday evening: “Deadline for deleting legacy blue checks is 4/20”.
What are “legacy” checkmarks on Twitter?
The blue tick on Twitter used to indicate a remarkable or authentic account – such as that of a celebrity or a politician.
But Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion in October, changed that. Under its ownership, the blue checkmark signifies that an account holder is paying for their Twitter Blue subscription service.
Currently, some users who received a blue check before Musk’s ownership still have it on their account.
Musk calls them “legacy” ticks — and he now says they’ll all be removed by April 20, 2023. The only way to keep the tick after that is to subscribe to Twitter Blue.
Twitter previously said April 1 would be when “legacy” checkmarks would start being removed – although many remained after that date, causing confusion.
On Twitter, the blue checkmark at the end of an account holder’s name was used to indicate an account belonging to a person of public interest, such as a celebrity, politician or journalist.
The whole point of the blue tick was that it could verify the identity of a notable person and tell them apart from an impostor.
Under Musk’s ownership, however, the tick is now simply an indicator that an account is subscribed to Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service which costs up to £11 a month in the UK.
Twitter Blue gives subscribers access to several exclusive features such as custom app icons, the ability to undo a tweet immediately after posting it, and, for subscribers in certain countries, the ability to edit tweets.
Meanwhile, some features that have long been available on the free version of Twitter — such as voting in polls and SMS two-factor authentication — are soon to become or have become exclusive to Twitter Blue.
Musk – who bought the social media network in October for $44bn (£5bn) – is thought to be trying to get Twitter’s user base to start shelling out monthly fees to boost profits.
April 20 is believed to be a reference to cannabis, which is associated with the number 420 due to the time of day it is traditionally smoked, and in turn the date 4/20 (April 20). Musk was filmed smoking the drug during a live webcast with comedian Joe Rogan in 2018 (pictured)
In the UK, Twitter Blue costs £9.60 a month for desktop and £11 for iOS and Android and adds a blue tick next to a user’s name, among other features
Musk has also rolled out new gold and gray checkmarks to indicate companies and government bodies verified respectively, and their £1,000-a-month bill.
The South African-born entrepreneur just gave his biggest interview since taking over Twitter, with the BBC at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday.
While discussing the topic of hate speech on Twitter, Musk accused BBC interviewer James Clayton of lying because he couldn’t back up his claims.
Musk also said Twitter had “four months to live” if it didn’t make changes and cut costs to save it from bankruptcy.
The billionaire owner confirmed that around 80% of his staff have been made redundant since he took over, including Twitter’s global communications team.
All emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org now receive a poop emoji in response, while Musk appears to have taken over the role of comms himself by tweeting regular updates.
Twitter now has about 1,500 employees, a sharp drop from “just under 8,000 employees” before it took over in October.
Musk also revealed that his takeover had been painful and he felt “constantly under attack”, but financially the company was finally breaking even.
And he revealed that he used to sleep on a couch on the seventh floor of Twitter’s headquarters.
Also this week, Musk shut down the company that owned Twitter — Twitter Inc — and incorporated it into his own company, called X Corp.
The Twitter and Tesla boss appeared to allude to the news with a simple tweet containing the letter X.
X Corp is set to become the parent company for all of Musk’s endeavors, including SpaceX, Tesla, Neuralink and an upcoming platform he calls an “everything app.”
This application could one day integrate parts or all of Twitter, as well as online services and utilities such as carpooling, food deliveries and more.
Timeline of Elon Musk’s turbulent time on Twitter so far
October 27: Musk has officially become the new owner of Twitter and tweets “the bird is released”.
November, 1st: Musk confirms plans to change Twitter’s ‘Blue Tick’ verification system, for a reduced subscription of $8 per month.
November 4: Musk is laying off half of Twitter’s workforce as part of an alleged cost-cutting measure, saying he had “no choice”.
November 9: Musk launches ‘Twitter Blue’ subscription service that verifies accounts for a monthly fee.
November 11th: The Twitter Blue service is suspended due to verification of account purchases and its use to impersonate brands and public figures.
November 12: Musk fires 80% of Twitter contractors without warning.
November 15: Musk is firing employees who posted negative messages about him on the work messaging app Slack. The lawsuit between Musk and Twitter is dismissed.
November 16: Twitter staff are told they must sign a pledge to stay in their jobs where they would work long, high-intensity hours or receive three months of severance pay, leading to a mass exodus.
November 18: A ticker was projected at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters calling Musk a “space Karen”, “mediocre kid” and “bankrupt baby”.
November 23: A Twitter user reported that 5.4 million phone numbers and email addresses were leaked on the dark web, before his account was suspended.
November 26: The Financial Times revealed that 50 of the platform’s top 100 advertisers had suspended their ads.
November 29: Platformer reported that Twitter is in the process of reinstating approximately 62,000 banned accounts that each have more than 10,000 followers.
December 12: Twitter Blue is relaunched with a new Blue Tick review process.
January 11: Twitter is starting to automatically redirect users to the “For You” tab – its algorithmic stream of tweets – every time they open the app.
February 8: Twitter expands character limit to 4,000 for Twitter Blue subscribers in the US. Shortly after, the site encounters technical difficulties.
12 February: Musk orders staff to revamp Twitter’s tweet promotion algorithm after his Super Bowl tweet didn’t get enough impressions.
February 15: Twitter announces that it will remove SMS two-factor authentication (2FA) from the free version of Twitter – a move that one security expert called “absurd” that will lead to “so many hacked accounts”.
February 25: Twitter reveals a new round of layoffs that has reduced its workforce to less than 2,000 – a sharp drop from 7,500 employees when the billionaire took over in October.
March 28: Musk announces he will stop people from voting in Twitter polls or having their tweets appear in the For You tab if they don’t pay for Twitter Blue.
April 11: Musk gives an interview to the BBC at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.
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