Twitter’s blue tick ‘probably’ coming back next week as fake accounts boom
Twitter’s $8 (£6.99) blue tick feature will “probably” come back at the end of next week, according to chief executive Elon Musk.
The serial entrepreneur announced the decision earlier today after being asked about it by Paul Jamil, chief executive of SEO platform Whatsmyserp.
Twitter – which announced the paid feature’s introduction days after Musk’s $44bn takeover in late October – was forced to pause it for the second time on Friday following a boom in fake accounts.
Used to verify the likes of politicians, newspapers and celebrities, the blue tick’s paid roll-out was introduced to help the platform increase revenue amidst a period of massive layoffs.
Its roll-out was initially paused until after the US midterm elections to avoid the spread of fake news.
Twitter’s support account said on Friday it had added an “official” label to combat impersonation, as accounts pretending to be well-known companies and individuals flourished.
The stocks of pharmaceutical companies went down Friday after a fake account impersonating Eli Lilly tweeted that insulin – which is sold by the US powerhouse at $82.41 a vial – was now free.
The company, whose shares slumped 4.37 per cent, was forced to apologise for the misunderstanding.
The weekend spelled additional trouble for the social media powerhouse as marketing conglomerate Omnicom advised its clients to pause their ad spending on Twitter for the time being.
In a memo seen by Reuters, Omnicom said Twitter’s ability “to maintain their previous level of brand safety measures and effectiveness seem impeded in the immediate term.”
“Whilst OMG believes this is unlikely to result in a significantly higher risk environment for advertisers, the risk of being associated with unsafe content could rise and as such should be considered when deciding on use of the platform,” the memo read.
Omnicom – whose clients include McDonald’s, Apple and Pepsi – is not the first one to pull out of Twitter following the takeover.
Audi, General Motors and, more recently Chipotle, all took a step back to get a better understanding of where Twitter is headed.
Both Twitter and Omnicom were approached for comment.