Just days after tech billionaire Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter, a number of high-profile celebrities – most with verified accounts, those with the often coveted “blue check marks” – have announced plans to check out of the platform in protest to the direction Musk is taking the company. Grammy winner Sara Bareilles, who won the Grammy Award for Best Music Performance on Sunday, announced that she would be leaving Twitter.
Director Ken Olin, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, singer Toni Braxton, former pro-wrestler turned actor Mick Foley, Billions creator Brian Koppelman, comic book creator Erik Larsen, actress Téa Leoni, and actor Alex Winter are among those who have said they’d also be checking out.
While it’s not known how many of the “A-listers” will follow, it’s more likely that they won’t be around for very long. This platform is still the preferred social media site for broadcasting daily to the entire world. Bareilles, along with others, have stated that they would be on Instagram and other social media platforms, but the real question is whether any of these services can replace Twitter.
What celebrities do, and actually say can be two different things entirely, however – and one only needs to go through their past tweets, which included the largely empty threats to “move to Canada” back in 2016.
It’s not unusual for people to threaten to leave the country after Trump is elected. Near Media co-founder Greg Sterling, a social media analyst and co-founder said that most people did not.
Similar to Musk, celebrities who are calling for Twitter’s demise (Twitter), express distaste at Musk’s politics. They also fear that Musk will make Twitter an ‘Hellscape. Sterling stated that many will be patient and wait. It’s not possible to replace Twitter immediately. But people may use several platforms – as they already do – including TikTok, Instagram, and various messaging apps (e.g., Discord). There are other apps that could eventually replace Twitter.
While some might sign up now, it is too soon to say that this is a “checkmate moment” for Musk’s Twitter.
Sterling stated, “It will all come down to whether Twitter stabilises or falls further into chaos.”
Future of verified accounts
It’s not just celebrities who can be verified on Twitter to receive those blue check marks. A verified account can be obtained for politicians, journalists, athletes, influencers and activists.
A “Twitter Blue” feature is also available on the social media site, currently priced at $4.99. If you want to get more involved on the platform, this is an option.
CNN reports that Twitter may be considering expanding the verification account to all users willing to pay $19.99 per month to subscribe to its service. It could also decide to remove the check marks from existing users that don’t want to purchase the product in the next 90 days. While some international charities and organizations could be exempted, most others could not be.
This news comes after Musk tweeted that the verification process was being reworked. Jason Calacanis, Internet angel investor and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis (@Jason), also tweeted a survey asking users how much they would be willing to pay to verify their account.
Musk replied, “Interesting” after a large number of respondents chose “wouldn’t be paid”.
It is not clear if there is any added value to the privilege if it is.
Associate professor of Communication at Maryville University, Dustin York said, “Although it is unpopular to charge a monthly subscription accounts with a large follow makes absolute sense.”
York said, “If there are 100,000 people following you on Twitter, then you cannot say that Twitter isn’t helping your financial situation, either directly nor indirectly.” These followers can help you make money from sponsorships, as well as a thought leader following that will allow you to sell books, keynotes, and shows in the future. Who hasn’t been paid a cut of this money for many years?” Twitter has been a great resource until now.