Changes at Twitter—including the poop emoji auto-response for press inquiries—can be hard to distinguish from practical jokes, but the company is apparently serious about revoking blue checkmarks for some users on April Fool's Day. "On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks," the Twitter Verified account tweeted on Thursday. Hours earlier, Twitter announced that the Twitter Blue subscription service, in which users who pay $8 per month can get a blue checkmark signaling verified status, was now available worldwide, Variety reports.
In November, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said the old system of verifying notable users like celebrities, politician, and brands was "corrupt" and the company would open it up to all users willing to pay. "Far too many corrupt legacy Blue ‘verification’ checkmarks exist, so no choice but to remove legacy Blue in coming months," he said. Twitter had more than 420,00 verified accounts before Musk took control of the company. It's not clear how many have signed up for Twitter Blue, which the company says also includes features like higher ranking in conversations, TechCrunch reports. Twitter is charging companies and brands $1,000 per month for a gold checkmark.
Jay Peters and Mitchell Clark at the Verge aren't convinced that users who don't pay up will start losing their blue checkmarks on April 1. "It's extremely possible that this announcement ... is just an attempt to freak out people with legacy check marks," they write, though they acknowledge that it's possible Musk "actually does intend to do this, and the date was just chosen as a troll." (Read more Twitter stories.)