Twitter has introduced a new “Official” tag to replace its old “Verified” tag. This tag can be used to identify important organizations, such as publishers, governments, media outlets and public figures. It is not possible to purchase the tag and it will not be given out to all people or organizations that have been validated before.
This is consistent with Elon Musk, Twitter’s CEO, suggesting that there should be two levels to tagging. Only one of the two levels is currently visible.
Here’s the new “Official” badging on the SMETech Twitter account:
It is important to note that, while Twitter Blue will offer additional services, such as amplification and tweet amplification, there won’t be any paid version of the Twitter verified tag.
Twitter employee Esther Crawford — whose account is neither verified nor tagged official — highlighted the changes in a tweet yesterday.
It is plain, unobtrusive and grey. The verification tag could be used to verify accounts who subscribe.
What Twitter means by “major” media outlets remains to be seen, but suggests there’s some cut-off between outlets that are big enough to be Official and others that are not. Similarly, the wording of “some public figures” indicates that there’s a cut-off at some level determining who can be official.
We will not know what these cut-offs look like.
Musk promised that the new subscription service would remove bots through verification of individuals. However, this announcement changes Musk’s promise. Crawford clarified today that “the new Twitter Blue does not include ID verification – it’s an opt-in, paid subscription that offers a blue checkmark and access to select features.”
That said, it still accomplishes a significant part of what Musk suggested, since simply by subscribing an account has to provide data on who they are, as well as a credit card for payment that is theoretically trackable at some level — if only by law enforcement — to a particular person or organization.
This is probably not the end of Twitter’s changes here either: Crawford say that Twitter will “continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types.”
There are two issues with Twitter’s new Official and Twitter Blue badges. As one Twitter user noted, Crawford does not have either badge.
Elon Musk is known for his speed, not only in Twitter but in all other businesses. These trends will continue to develop over the coming weeks and months.
Which is most intriguing right now?
Twitter’s “Complaint Hotline Operator” Elon Musk, who has 115 million followers, is currently not checked as official. Nor does the traditional blue checkmark for verified accounts — which Musk had — visible on his account: