Elon Musk is delaying the relaunch of the Twitter Blue subscription service but has announced that the social media platform is rolling out new gold and grey checkmarks.
The Twitter Blue verified checkmark service is being pushed back from November 29 to December 2.
In a tweet early on Friday morning, Musk added that all verified marks will be manually authenticated.
“Gold check for companies, grey check for governments, blue for individuals (celebrities or not), and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates,” Musk said in a post on Twitter.
“Painful but necessary.”
Sorry for the delay, we’re tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week.
Gold check for companies, grey check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates.
Painful, but necessary.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022
His comments come after he paused the $8 per month Twitter Blue verified checkmark service after users abused the system by impersonating famous people and big brands.
In one case, a blue-check account impersonating McDonald’s joked that all the restaurant’s locations would “now be serving beyond meat,” before adding that “our meat is far beyond its expiration date!” according to Business Insider.
Another came from a blue-check account impersonating pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, which reportedly put out a post saying it was “excited to announce insulin is free now,” prompting the actual Eli Lilly corporate account to apologize “to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account.”
Musk rolled out the Twitter Blue subscription service to help grow revenue at the company, which he recently said was losing around $4 million per day.
The blue check mark was previously reserved for verified accounts of public figures such as celebrities, journalists, and politicians.
Musk said in a tweet last week that he was delaying the relaunch of Twitter Blue until November 29 to make sure the service is “rock solid.”
His message on Thursday sets a new date of December 2 for the relaunch of the Verified service.
However, that could get postponed as he noted the date was tentative.
Musk previously teased the rollout of different colored checks and, for a period of time, Twitter gave government accounts and official brands an option to display a gray “Official” checkmark though it later rescinded that offer alongside the pausing of Twitter Blue.
Besides seeking to revamp Twitter’s checkmark service, Musk recently announced a permanent ban on Twitter users impersonating other people on the platform unless they clearly specify they’re operating as “parody” accounts.
Since taking over Twitter, Musk has introduced a number of changes, including pledging to cut down on bots, vowing to crack down on deceptive activity on the platform, and restoring some banned accounts, including that of President Donald Trump.
Besides reactivating Trump’s Twitter account, Musk has brought back several prominent public figures onto the platform, including Jordan Peterson, the satirical website The Babylon Bee, and investigative journalism watchdog Project Veritas, who were all censored by Twitter’s prior management.