Could Twitter be looking to bring back legacy verified accounts?
That could be a stretch, but it is experimenting with a new way to show an account’s verification history, which would include a new listing of when an account had been verified, and signifying whether it was legacy verified or not.
As you can see in this example, posted by app researcher Nima Owji, Twitter’s testing out new wording for its verification info pop-up, which would include an indicator of when that specific account was verified.
Twitter previously displayed two different versions of this info box, which showed whether an account was either legacy verified or had subscribed to Twitter Blue. But with the removal of legacy blue ticks from the app last month, Twitter no longer needed the legacy explainer, and removed it from the app.
But since then, Twitter has also gifted verification to accounts with over a million followers, meaning that not all of the accounts that currently have a blue tick are subscribed to Twitter Blue. That could be seen as a false endorsement, and maybe this new approach is a step towards reducing that concern, and providing more clarity over how exactly each account has obtained its checkmark.
If implemented, that would mean that all accounts verified before November 2022, when Elon Musk introduced the new paid verification scheme, would be legacy verified, while all accounts after would not.
Would that be enough, from a legal standpoint, to save Twitter if a celebrity were to sue over the false representation that they’ve purchased a blue tick?
I’d hazard a bet that it probably wouldn’t - but maybe, Twitter could make the argument that this does provide that clarity, while it would also be a helpful measure for users to understand which accounts can be trusted, based on their previous verification history.
Which could, as noted, open the door for Twitter to bring back all the legacy verified ticks.
Legacy checkmarks are still active in the app, Twitter’s just hidden them – and maybe, this new indicator could give Twitter a means to walk back the removal of legacy blue ticks, and restore a measure of protection and trust in the process.
Because while not all legacy checkmarks were awarded on merit, as Elon has noted, many of the 400,000 or so blue ticks were given to users based on proper checks and processes, and did give users another measure of trust in the app. Restoring them would also add more value back to Twitter’s paid checkmark system, which people are trying to buy into – because right now, the only thing a blue tick represents is that this person is paying $8 per month to use the app.
If all celebrities and sports stars got their tick back, maybe more users would want to also buy in – while it could also help to address problems with blue tick accounts dominating conversations in the app, which may be impacting engagement.
Again, it’s probably a stretch to assume that this is where Twitter is headed with this potential update, but it could be another marker that its $8 verification scheme hasn’t delivered as hoped.