Twitter is delaying the launch of its new Blue subscription with verification until after this week’s midterm elections, according to a report of The New York Times. According to an internal memo viewed by the outlet, a manager working on the project said he “made the decision to move the launch of this release to November 9 after the election.”
Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, announced the new $7.99-a-month Twitter Blue earlier this month, with benefits such as fewer ads, search priority, the ability to post longer videos, and the ability to pay your way to verification. . Under Musk’s new rules, anyone can get a verified check if they pay for Blue, raising concerns about whether users can tell real accounts from fake ones.
These concerns have only grown in the run-up to the midterm elections, as verified users posing as politicians and news outlets can cause confusion. Before the acquisition by Musk, verified ticks were assigned by Twitter to notable figures who could prove their account belonged to them, with the intention of combating impersonation attempts. The platform also had specific rules that prevented users with parody or unofficial fan accounts from obtaining the badge. It’s not clear how Musk plans to target users posing as others on the platform, but an “Official Account” label for notable users, as noted by app researcher Nima Owji could be part of that plan, while subscribers checkmarks would have a small popup with the source of their status.
As previously reported on The edge by Alex Heath, Musk initially wanted employees to roll out Blue with verification before Nov. 7 and threatened to fire them if they don’t meet this deadline. Twitter updated its app on iOS on Saturday with mentions of the new Blue plans, but without actual access, and the changes were rolled back shortly after. Esther Crawford, a product manager at Twitter who led the project, confirmed these features will be “coming soon,” but never said when we might see an official launch.