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Twitter Blue is dead, 'official' checkmarks resurrected

Twitter has now seemingly abandoned its $8 per month Twitter Blue subscription, and also revived the "official" tag that Elon Musk created, then killed within hours.

Neither Twitter nor Elon Musk have either announced the end of Twitter Blue, nor commented beyond a cryptic tweet about November 11, 2022, being "Quite the day!"

Twitter Blue was an existing subscription service that Musk expanded on November 10, 2022. During its apparently 24 hours of existence, anyone could get one of Twitter's "Verified" marks for the price of subscribing.

It inevitably and instantly led to spamming with fake accounts. Musk seemed to welcome the spammers, too, saying that Twitter would ban them — after taking their $8.

Most of the workers in teams that would be expected to take down fake accounts have been fired or have quit. Nonetheless, fake accounts purporting to be politicians were removed, as was one claiming to be the official support for Apple TV+.

At the same time, some users — mostly advertisers — are regaining the grey "Official" tag that was briefly brought out to replace the now tarnished "Verified." Elon Musk explicitly said after a few hours that he had killed off "Official" — his words — but it is now resurfacing.

As yet, "official" is only appearing on a few accounts. So the Pepsi Twitter account is marked as "official," but Apple is not.

This "official" tag did go some way toward replacing the original purpose of Twitter's verification. It couldn't be bought as part of a subscription, it was in some way ascribed to genuine accounts, although Twitter never explained how.

It meant that genuine companies and celebrities could get tagged as official without paying for it. However, that took away the legitimate market for a blue verification icon, leaving only spammers who would see value in paying the $8 fee.

Consequently, the only thing that was initially more surprising than Musk killing off the official tag was that it ever existed. Now it's back, while Twitter Blue can no longer be signed up for.

It's not known whether people who have paid their $8 for the first month will revert to the old-style Twitter blue for their next billing period. Also not clear is why Twitter didn't retain the blue checkmark for verified accounts, and implement a different color or shape for the paid subscriptions.