Twitter Blue subscriptions roll out globally, despite missing many promised features
People all over the world can now pay for Twitter, as the company has announced that its Twitter Blue subscription service is now available globally. While the subscription has been pretty widely available before (you could sign up for it in almost 50 countries), the expanded availability reflects the company’s drive to make Twitter Blue an increasingly important part of the service.
Part of those efforts, however, includes making promises that it hasn’t kept yet. The company’s announcement tweets list some of the benefits of Twitter Blue, such as getting a checkmark, the ability to write longer tweets, getting prioritized ranking in conversations, and seeing half as many ads. Those last two, however, haven’t actually rolled out yet. When you click on the link to sign up for the service, they’re still listed as “Coming Soon.”
CEO and owner Elon Musk has been promising prioritized ranking since November, calling the feature “essential to defeat spam/scam.” However, despite (or maybe because of) Musk’s push to make employees work in “hardcore” conditions, it hasn’t materialized. The same is true for several of his other promises — in February, he announced that Twitter was starting to share ad revenue with Blue subscribers, something that hasn’t started happening over a month later, and he promised to open source the company’s algorithm on the week of February 27th. That didn’t happen, but he’s now promising that it will occur on March 31st.
The company also announced on Thursday that it’s started accepting applications from governmental and organizational accounts that want a grey checkmark. Its documentation says accounts that are eligible for it include heads of state, members of congresses or parliaments, headquarters-level, regional-level, and country-level institutional accounts. (For example, the National Park Service has a grey check, as does the US president.)
The grey checks — along with the gold checks for companies — are meant to help clear up the confusion caused by the blue check’s meaning going from “a person or organization that Twitter has verified” to “a person or organization that Twitter has verified or someone who pays for Blue.” Musk has promised to get rid of the “Legacy blue checks” that indicated verification, saying that they “are truly corrupt,” but so far that hasn’t happened either. Now, clicking on someone with a blue check that doesn’t pay for Blue shows you the message “This is a legacy verified account. It may or may not be notable.”
Update March 23rd, 4:58PM ET: Updated with information about grey checkmark applications.