Home X gives blue checkmarks to ‘influential’ non-subscribers

X gives blue checkmarks to ‘influential’ non-subscribers

Elon Musk’s X has begun to roll out a new blue checkmark feature on the platform. Users can now get X Premium for free based on the number of premium followers a user has.

The launch has not been universally popular in what is another shift away from the operating model of the former Twitter.

Last week, Musk detailed how X accounts with over 2500 verified subscriber followers would receive new perks and now the decision has been applied.

On Wednesday (3 April), some users described how the blue checkmark had been added to their accounts despite not paying for the benefit previously reserved for subscribers.

One prominent user even queried how to opt out of the new blue checkmark feature.

Will the new blue checkmark have an impact on X?

Once upon a time, the check was a symbol of status and meaning.

High-profile users including sports professionals, celebs, journalists and politicians would have the check mark emblazoned on their accounts for a reason. A similar symbol was given to accounts of official agencies and offices.

All that changed after Musk’s takeover in 2022 when the model came tumbling down. All of a sudden the verification system became a commodity that anyone could acquire and disinformation flourished.

X Premium, formerly Twitter Blue, was the introduction of Musk’s first subscription model which meant a check could be obtained for $8 a month. Bad actors seized the opportunity to wreak havoc and that is what ensued as the platform was flooded with fraudulent accounts of major companies and personalities.

In one instance, a fake Eli Lilly account appeared with the message “Insulin is free now,” sending the stock price of the pharmaceutical firm downward.

As for the new landscape on X, confusion reigns.

Some are pleasantly surprised by their new blue symbol, many are ridiculing the update and others just want it gone.

Image credit: Ideogram

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Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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