Twitter’s billionaire owner Elon Musk announced on Friday that the platform would launch different colored badges to differentiate accounts.
“Sorry for the delay, tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week,” he tweeted.
“Gold check for businesses, gray check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before the check is activated.”
In another tweet, Musk said that all verified individual accounts would have the same blue check, but eventually some would “be able to display a small secondary logo that shows they belong to an organization, if verified by that organization.” .
The Tesla and SpaceX chief’s proposal to allow users to pay for “verification” and get a blue badge on their profile has caused confusion since it acquired the social media giant last month.
Musk proposed an $8-a-month subscription fee for users to get the blue check — previously free but reserved for public organizations and figures in an effort to prevent impersonation and misinformation.
The first reveal of Musk’s subscription plan in early November quickly went south, with many accounts cashing in on blue checks and then representing world leaders, celebrities or companies.
In response to the backlash, Musk initially pushed back the launch date to November 29, before pushing it back again. Now it looks like the feature will launch on December 2nd.
Musk has said he wants to charge users for subscriptions to the social media platform to diversify his revenue stream. Twitter currently depends on advertising for 90 percent of its revenue.
Several big brands have pulled away from advertising on the platform since Musk bought it, fearing that the promised relaxation of content moderation could link their companies to objectionable content.
According to the non-governmental organization Media Matters, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have announced that they have suspended or “seemed to suspend” their spending on the social network.