Elon Musk’s Twitter Blue with verification is now live

The new Twitter Blue, which now costs $7.99 per month and gets you a blue verified check mark, is officially available in its app for iPhones and iPads. Twitter owner Elon Musk began hyping the new Blue just days after taking over the company at the end of October, promising features like verification, priority in replies, mentions, and search, and “half as many ads,” and now you can actually get the new subscription.

Right now, for people who subscribe to the new package, their account instantly adds a verified check, but the other new benefits aren’t available yet. According to a support page, “only accounts subscribed to Twitter Blue on iOS on or after November 9, 2022 are eligible for the blue checkmark moving forward.” It’s unclear when the new subscription will become available for users on Android, Twitter web, or in countries where Twitter Blue wasn’t already available. And new Twitter accounts created on or after Wednesday aren’t eligible to sign up for Blue “at this time,” Twitter says.

On the signup form on iOS, the $7.99 per month price is positioned as a “limited time offer.” For the moment, you can’t sign up on the web — you have to sign up on iOS. And some users already subscribed to Blue are reporting they have to subscribe again and specifically to the new tier.

Twitter is now distinguishing between accounts that were verified by paying or from the previous system, and you can see who was verified which way by clicking the check mark on their profile. (Though it’s currently not perfect — I have subscribed to the new Blue, but my check mark still says I was verified under the old criteria.) And for accounts verified before the new Blue, Twitter says that “legacy verified accounts also may be taken away at any time for any reason at all by Twitter.” If you are a legacy verified account that doesn’t subscribe to Blue, it’s unclear if or when you might lose your check mark.

While Musk has positioned paid verification as a way to increase trust in the platform, the idea has also come under criticism for possibly enabling the exact opposite, in part because it could theoretically let anyone pay to say they’re the verified version of anyone else.

One way the company planned to tackle that problem was with Musk’s announcement that impersonation accounts that didn’t specify they were parodies would be permanently suspended. The company is testing attaching a new gray check mark and “Official” label to the profiles of select accounts of Twitter’s choosing but quickly rolled that back.

Blue’s official rollout follows a false start on Saturday. Twitter’s iOS app was updated with details of the new subscription ahead of Musk’s November 7th deadline, but a Twitter employee confirmed the new Blue wasn’t actually live at the time.

The revamped Blue is a big change from what it was before. Until now, the Blue’s most notable feature was perhaps the ability to edit tweets, which finally came to Twitter after years of desperate begging from users. The service also had a cheaper $4.99 per month price, but we should probably be grateful that the new Blue didn’t cost $20 (thank you, Stephen King), though given that “limited time offer” language, perhaps the price will get there eventually.