Even the most devout Elon Musk acolytes and Twitter typers would be hard-pressed to describe Twitter Blue’s first go-around under Musk as anything more than an abject failure. Musk had hoped to make Twitter Blue a thriving subscription service — and thriving it would need to be, as it would take 64 million paid subscribers to replace Twitter’s prior ad-driven revenue and “previous level of expenses” per Forbes. Under Musk’s new model, users would pay $8 USD a month for features that included access to the “blue check,” a badge of profile verification that was originally reserved for celebrities, organizations and journalists. Musk’s first go-around with the new Twitter Blue was short-lived, however, with blue-check-approved impersonators posing as everyone from Coca-Cola to Nintendo (the latter of which made for some of 2022’s funniest memes).
Yesterday, Twitter re-launched Twitter Blue with a new verification system that will only grant blue checks to members who verify their phone number and go through an “approval” process. In an attempt to further reduce confusion, verified companies will now have a gold check mark while verified government accounts will have a grey check mark. The $8 USD monthly subscription price will remain for web access, while iOS access will cost $11 USD a month. Besides these updates, the company has also rolled out a new ’80s-inspired logo that’s a stark departure from any of its past branding.
Where in years past, Twitter opted for a clean and minimalistic look centered around its signature blue color, this logo opts for a mixture of blue, purple, pink and an orange-gold tone. The weighting of the script is left-heavy, with a gigantic, thick B counterbalanced by the company’s familiar bird logo at war with the slightly sleeker “l,” “u” and “e” to its right. Whether it’s an object of Musk’s whimsy, a product of Twitter losing thousands of employees (likely including some designers) since he took over or just a strange new branding direction it’s certainly unlike anything that’s been seen from the company before. Early reactions have tended negative, with Fast Company describing it as a “train wreck.”
Elsewhere in the unparalleled world of tech billionaire hijinks, disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested.
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