Elon Musk wants Twitter Verified badge for paid-for Twitter Blue, says it'll fight bot armies
You may soon be able to finally get verified for just $3 a month
Elon Musk, now Twitter’s largest stakeholder and a board member, isn’t stopping at pushing for an already-in-development Twitter edit button – he wants to shake up how verified badges work, too.
“Everyone who signs up for Twitter Blue (ie pays $3/month) should get an authentication checkmark,” Musk tweeted Sunday night.
This could bring millions of people into Twitter’s verification process, which has been used to denote accounts in “government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.” It has slowly expanded over the years, but there are still millions of people vying for that blue badge (or white badge if you’re in Twitter Dark Mode).
There’s a catch: a fresh tweet reply from Musk notes: “But should be different from ‘public figure’ or ‘official account’ checkmark.” Cue the sad trombone sound effect for people hoping to finally earn the same coveted Twitter badge as everyone else.
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Twitter Verified could mean $300m overnight
Twitter Verified becoming a Twitter Blue “would be $300m in pure profit for Twitter per year overnight,” tweeted angel investor Jason Calacanis.
Twitter Blue, the social media platform’s paid-for service for $2.99/month, comes with premium features and app customizations: Undo Tweets, pinning DMs to the top of your direct messages window, a tweets bookmarks folder, and ad-free articles from almost 50 publications when clicking out through Twitter.
It could be an instant revenue driver for Twitter. But there are other reasons besides pure profit being raised by Elon Musk in a bunch of tweet replies.
The good and the very bad – my experience
Twitter has a serious bot problem – as soon as I hit one million Twitter followers, I saw thousands of scam bots start to automatically and instantly reply to every one of my tweets about PS5 restock news. It’s become a major issue for me, as I use my account for good. I spend hours each day banning and reporting the accounts.
Elon suggests this may be a solution to that problem: “It would massively expand the verified pool & make bot armies too expensive to maintain,” he said in a tweet reply.
However, Musk may be underestimating how much money the most persistent Twitter scammers actually make from these bot armies. It’s in the millions just with the scams that target my account. $2.99 per bot for a Twitter Verified account is a small dent in their scam ROI.
Musk may be underestimating how much money the most persistent Twitter scammers actually make from these bot armies. It’s in the millions just with the scams that target my account.
Plus, many Twitter hackers have found a way to hack into non-2FA Verified accounts through brute force methods. They don’t even need to pay a fee if Twitter keeps allowing these hacks to happen. This leads to another problem: a hacked Twitter verified account that’s scamming lures people into falsely trusting them.
My question is: will being able to buy a verified badge lead to more scam victims because they instinctively trust that Verified badge – or will fewer scams happen because the fee scares away the bot armies?