Twitter to delay rollout of subscription service: report

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Social media giant Twitter said on Sunday it plans to delay the rollout of its new subscription plan that includes a blue check mark next to a user’s name, until after the midterm elections on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

In an article posted to its website, the NYT reported viewing an internal post from Twitter – which was verified by two people with knowledge of the decision – that it would delay rolling out a subscription for $7.99 per month.

A Twitter headquarters sign is shown in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. Employees were bracing for widespread layoffs at Twitter on Friday, as new owner Elon Musk overhauls the social platform.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu / AP Newsroom)

As part of the subscription, users will receive a blue check mark next to their name on Twitter – something that once had to be earned after an extensive verification process.

"Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bull****," Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Nov. 1. "Power to the people! Blue for $8/month."

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In the Twitter apps’ notes for the latest version on Saturday, the company says users can get Twitter Blue for $7.99 per month if they sign up now.

"Blue checkmark: Power to the people," the notes read. "Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow."

In this photo illustration, the image of Elon Musk is displayed on a computer screen and the logo of twitter on a mobile phone. (Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

With midterms on Tuesday, several Twitter users expressed concerns that the rollout of the checkmarks could cause confusion, especially if users can create verified accounts of reputable politicians or news outlets.

The NYT reported that in an internal Slack channel on Saturday, an employee at Twitter asked why they were "making such a risky change before elections, which has the potential of causing election interference."

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"A manager working on the verification badge project responded on Sunday that ‘we’ve made the decision to move the launch of this release to Nov. 9, after the election’" the NYT reported.

Twitter did not immediately respond to requests seeking verification of the decision.

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