Twitter Blue launched in South Africa earlier this month (and it’ll cost you up to R2,400 a year to play Elon’s game) but not every country was included at that point. That… has changed. The service is now available everywhere on the planet, provided you’re willing to pay for it. Given the other bit of news this week, you might just be reaching for your credit card.
That’s because the folks who have the old-school Verified checkmark will see those going away as of 1 April 2023. It doesn’t have to happen, of course. You can always give the service a little cash if you’d like your special little symbol to stick around.
On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here: https://t.co/gzpCcwOpLp
Organizations can sign up for https://t.co/RlN5BbuGA3…
— Twitter Verified (@verified) March 23, 2023
It’s not easy to believe that those old, ‘hard-earned’ blue checkmarks will start disappearing from 1 April. For starters, look at the date. Then check out Elon Musk’s Twitter feed. Could it all be an extravagant joke? Sure, that’s entirely within the realm of possibility. But, like Vodacom and MTN‘s annual price increases, just because it’s April Fool’s Day doesn’t mean that serious things don’t happen.
Read More: Should you pay for Meta’s and Twitter’s verified identity subscriptions? A social media researcher explains how the choice you face affects everyone else
If you do decide to keep (or obtain for the first time) that coveted blue checkmark, Twitter promises a few things to go with that monthly (or annual) payment. Longer tweets, the ability to sort Bookmarks into folders, fewer ads (this hasn’t landed yet), Edit and Undo Tweet options, and better ranking in conversations (this hasn’t either) are just a few of the perks.
There are still a few ‘earned’ checkmarks out there — there are gold ones available for companies and government agencies and employees are now eligible for grey ones too. But if you’re a regular old famous person, you’ll just have to pay to Blue yourself.