Gold tick, blue tick back and forth

Elon Musk has played with the introduction of a paid blue tick verification plan where users can purchase a blue tick for $8 a month. Initially this resulted in fraud with users pretending to be already blue-ticked brands. To solve the issue, Musk has brought back the programme but guaranteed brands a verified gold tick to prevent such imitation from recurring.

However, the update is causing some confusion among Twitter’s power users, especially since the update has only appeared on the accounts of some marketers. For instance, Slim Jim’s Twitter account has a new gold check mark, while brands like Cinnabon and Steak-umm maintain the older blue check marks with the standard round profile pics.

Furthermore, there has been little official communication from Twitter to brands about how the new verification system works – for example, has celebrity and influencer imitation prevention taken the same steps? NBCUniversal and “The Tonight Show” accounts both have gold check marks and square profile pictures. McDonald’s and Wendy’s do as well. “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, however, still has the old blue check mark, to which Twitter attached a note, as it has to all older blue check marks: “This is a legacy verified account. It may or may not be notable.”

Most brands did not even ask for the new gold check mark, a top agency exec said. “The communication we got was just the standard language that gold checks are applied to ‘Twitter Blue for Business’ accounts,” the exec said. “I don’t think any of our clients are actually subscribed to that, so it appears they have just applied the gold check to any accounts that have been advertisers historically.”

Twitter’s business account tweeted about the new verification system and issued a blog post on Monday. Some brands were bemusedly confused about the update. Slim Jim posted to Twitter: “Why tf am I a square now.” (Slim Jim’s account on Twitter shows the new look, but the embedded version of Slim Jim’s tweets, as shown above, still shows the profile picture as a circle, which could be a coding issue.)

It all seems a bit messy to us…

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