Elon Musk-owned Twitter has paused its Twitter Blue service pegged at $7.99 a month. The latest development comes after several people were reported to have abused the Twitter Blue feature by impersonating celebrities and brands.
With the now-suspended Twitter Blue service, people could pay to get a verification check mark irrespective of whether they were a public figure or not, or had many or no followers. The rationale behind the blue verification mark was to show that an account was either a verified or official one.
When Elon Musk announced that people could pay for a verification check on Twitter, the announcement received major criticism not only because of the dangers that it could bring but also because of the attached fee. Elon Musk had said that people who had the blue mark would have to pay $7.99.
The service which allows users to buy a verification mark was launched earlier this week on Twitter’s iPhone app. As of Friday, however, the iPhone app no longer displays the option to sign up for Twitter Blue. This goes to suggest that Elon Musk’s plan to create a new stream of income for the company may have failed or at least isn’t working as he had projected.
Since the ability to buy the verification mark was launched, there had been a surge in the number of accounts posing to be famous celebrities and businesses, turning Twitter into a platform for gross misinformation. The paid verification mark also creates a problem for advertisers on Twitter, many of which have already halted their advertising spending on the platform.
As of Friday, some of the Twitter users who had paid for the service said that the blue verification mark had disappeared from their accounts.
Both Twitter and Elon Musk are yet to provide an official statement on the issue.