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April 5, 2024
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Elon Musk’s X offers free blue checks again, despite predicted challenges

Elon Musk’s change of heart regarding the paid blue check feature on X has drawn attention this week, as many users with substantial followings found their blue verification badges, earned under Twitter’s previous system, restored without charge.

The unexpected return of these blue checks follows Musk’s recent announcement that X accounts with over 2500 verified subscriber followers would receive Premium features for free, while those with over 5000 subscribers would get Premium+ benefits.

This decision marks a reversal of Musk’s initial plan to abolish the existing verification scheme shortly after acquiring Twitter. His aim was to replace it with a paid system, hoping to generate revenue and attract advertisers. However, the move faced criticism and challenges, prompting Musk to reconsider.

Former Twitter head of product, Jason Goldman, suggested that Musk’s misunderstanding of the blue check’s value led to this shift. Originally, the blue check signified verified identity, providing credibility to users. However, attempting to monetize this feature diminished its significance, ultimately undermining its worth.

The failure of the paid verification system indicates a broader reluctance among internet users to pay for previously free services. Moreover, the proliferation of blue checks diminished their exclusivity, rendering them less meaningful as status symbols.

While X Premium subscription offers additional perks beyond the blue check, such as enhanced post visibility and access to Musk’s AI startup’s chatbot, these features haven’t universally resonated with users. Concerns about misuse by scam and troll accounts, exacerbated by the promise of ad revenue for high-traffic posts, have further soured opinions on the platform’s premium offerings.

In light of these developments, many users, disenchanted with the blue check’s diminished value, have expressed reluctance to accept it, even when offered for free. This sentiment highlights the challenge X faces in redefining its premium features to meet user expectations and retain its user base.

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