Twitter CEO, Elon Musk has revealed he is paying for some prominent people to retain the blue ticks on their Twitter accounts.
Recall that the social media platform launched a cull that stripped verified status from many famous names including Beyoncé, Ronaldo, Paul McCartney, Wizkid, Davido, Peter Obi, Tinubu and others.
Twitter’s owner confirmed the gesture after it emerged that the writer Stephen King, actor William Shatner and basketball star LeBron James had retained their ticks – which confer verified status on accounts – despite not signing up to Twitter Blue, the site’s subscription service.
On Thursday, Musk pushed ahead with a long-threatened promise to strip the blue tick from about 400,000 legacy verified accounts unless they signed up to Blue, which costs upwards of $8 a month in the US, £9.60 in the UK and A$13 in Australia.
The overnight cull meant that many famous names, with millions of followers, lost their blue check status.
The names now without verified status include Beyoncé, Ronaldo, Kim Kardashian, Sir Paul McCartney, JK Rowling and Donald Trump.
Twitter now has zero legacy verified accounts according to Travis Brown, a software developer who has been tracking Twitter’s subscription service, down from about 400,000 at the beginning of the month, with Blue sign-ups now at an estimated 630,000.
Following the removal of the blue check from Twitter accounts of thousands of public figures, some Nigerian celebrities and entrepreneurs who were affected have reacted to the disappearance of their verification badge.
Pere, an actor, model, and entrepreneur, reacted to the blue badge ”I will not pay a dime for your verification badge @elonmusk; you ruined the purpose for having it. Werey somebody”.
He went further to claim everyone is now on the same level “All of us dey the same level for twitter. Hehehehe. Nothing when we no go see for Elon musk internet.”
Singer Chike who was also affected by the policy, was bemused at the disappearance of his badge.
“Where is my verified badge?”
In another tweet, he said: “Elon get mind touch my badge 🌚!”
Peter Okoye of the Psquare music group, also called Elon a businessman. “Elon Musk is a BUSINESS MAN, Period!”
Billionaire Tony Elumelu, while reacting, also wrote: ”Woke up to see that my verification tick has disappeared. Wahala!”