Elon Musk said Twitter verification will return next week with color-coded categories for individuals, government accounts and businesses.
The new owner of Twitter said the platform will launch a new verification service on Friday next week, after launching an earlier attempt at a redesign that gave blue ticks to accounts paying $7.99 (£6.60) a month after triggering a flood of fake accounts.
Musk said accounts verified under the new system would carry a blue checkmark – or a checkmark – for individuals, a gray checkmark for “government” and a gold checkmark for businesses.
He also said that all verified accounts would be “manually authenticated”. He did not say whether there would be a charge for any of the new ticks, as there was in the previous review of the check.
Over 400,000 Twitter accounts currently have blue checkmarks, which marks them as an authentic source and are generally attributed to prominent accounts such as those owned by celebrities, politicians, journalists, government departments and large corporations.
Musk said the new blue checkmark would be for all individuals, “celebrity or not,” and that individuals could have a “small” secondary logo verifying they belonged to an organization, if that organization verified them. He said he would provide a more detailed explanation next week.
Its previous attempt to revamp verification, which it says is necessary to reduce vexatious automated accounts on the platform and create much-needed revenue through subscriptions, was halted earlier this month when it conducted has a slew of fake accounts.
A relaunch earlier this month of the platform’s premium service, Twitter Blue, charged $7.99 for a blue tick, but users took the opportunity to impersonate companies like Eli Lilly and Tesla for less than $10. The redesign was fired shortly after.
Omnicom, a major advertising group, cited the impersonation issue as one of the reasons why its customers should suspend advertising on Twitter.
Bloomberg reported in early November, ahead of Blue’s botched relaunch, that government entities would not be charged for verification.
Twitter has nearly 238 million daily users, according to its latest set of quarterly results, but since 250 million and user growth rates have reached “all-time highs” since Musk’s $44 billion takeover, according to tech news site The Verge.
The verification change was announced as Musk paved the way for banned accounts to return to the platform next week. He announced on Thursday that a “general amnesty” would be offered to Accounts suspended provided they have not broken the law or “engaged in blatant spamming”. Banned accounts include those of right-wing British commentator Katie Hopkins and former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon.
Musk admitted that Twitter had suffered a “massive” drop in ad revenue amid concerns over its content moderation plans on the platform, including the fate of banned accounts.
He told Twitter employees that “about half” of the platform’s revenue must come from subscriptions in order to “survive the coming economic downturn”. According to Twitter’s latest annual results, advertising accounted for 90% of its $5.1 billion in revenue.