Social Media
Is Twitter Blue Gone? People are missing a sidebar option.

Is Twitter Blue Gone? People Are Missing This iOS Sidebar Option

What is even happening?

by Jillian Giandurco
NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

A lot has changed over at Twitter lately (like, a lot, a lot), but the most recent one comes to Twitter’s paid subscription tier, Twitter Blue. After buying out the social media platform on Oct. 27, Elon Musk rolled out a new Twitter Blue feature that allowed users to verify their account just by subscribing to the paid tier. But the new feature seemingly didn’t last for long — after the app saw an influx of parody accounts posing as real celebrities with new Twitter Blue verified checkmarks on Nov. 9, people began to notice that Twitter Blue was missing from the sidebar. So, is Twitter Blue actually gone, and are the $8 verification badges no more? It’s unclear what the current status is, but here’s what people are noticing on Twitter. Elite Daily reached out to Twitter, but did not receive a response. Per reporting from The Verge and Axios, Twitter has dissolved its communications team.

It could be a while before users get answers — and blue checkmarks — from Twitter. As of 9 a.m. ET on Nov. 11, Twitter hasn’t publicly commented on the removal of the paid tier. However, according to reported internal conversations, as reported by Platformer editor Zoë Schiffer on Nov. 11, Twitter apparently paused the rollout of Twitter Blue "to help address impersonation issues.” The apparent Twitter source also shared that the only way to subscribe to Twitter Blue at the moment is if “Legacy Blue” users go to “subscriptions and upgrade,” though it's unclear what Legacy Blue means as Twitter refers to it. According to the source, it seems existing Twitter Blue subscribers, who bought in before it was suspended, will still have access to the paid tier’s various features.

Since Twitter Blue launched, it’s gotten increasingly harder to discern which accounts are real, and which accounts are pretending to pose as prominent public figures. To combat the confusion, Twitter implemented a tool that signifies whether an account got its blue check by subscribing to Twitter Blue, or if the user is a notable in government, entertainment, or another “designated category.” You can see the designation if you click on blue check on a user’s Twitter profile.

Shortly after the Nov. 9 launch, the app began adding an “official” title on some of its accounts in an attempt to make the distinction clearer, but only after the company plainly said it would not do so.

Amidst all the confusion, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the company pulls the plug on Twitter Blue completely — or at least pauses it for quite a while. On Nov. 9, the same day new Twitter Blue officially rolled out, Musk tweeted, “Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in the coming months. We will keep what works [and] change what doesn’t.”

One of those “dumb things” appears to be taking away the service Musk had been hyping since he took over the company — and apparently doing it without notifying Twitter users. In the early hours of Nov. 11, people began tweeting that they couldn’t see the Twitter Blue service in their sidebar.

Before the service was totally gone, some users may have gotten a message about it not being available in their country:

Twitter

It appears you can still see Twitter Blue in your desktop sidebar, but at the bottom, it instructs you to sign up via the Twitter app on iOS. As of Nov. 11, the pop-up implies users will be able to subscribe via desktop in the future, but if the last few days have been any indication, you might want to take that with a grain of salt.

Twitter

Users first began to notice a change to the service in the early hours of Nov. 11.

Twitter Blue was also made to look like it was available in previously unavailable countries, like the United Kingdom, even though it wasn’t.

It’s unclear how long it took before Twitter Blue was removed from the sidebar completely.

It’s also unclear when (or if) the paid tier will return.

The removal of Twitter Blue is just the latest major change to the social media site since Musk took over two weeks ago. On Oct. 27, the same day the acquisition was finalized, Musk fired Twitter’s top executives, per CNN, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and Twitter’s general counsel Sean Edgett. Roughly a week later, Musk fired nearly 50% of Twitter’s employees, which amounted to about 3,700 layoffs company-wide, according to The New York Times. On Nov. 6, Bloomberg reported that the billionaire was apparently already asking some of the recently laid off staff to come back to Twitter.

As for the rest of Twitter’s personnel, Musk reportedly sent an email to his remaining staff members on Nov. 9, informing the team that the “the economic picture ahead is dire,” according to The New York Times. He also apparently put a stop to the remote work model and reminded his remaining employees that “the absolute top priority is finding and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam,” which may have been what promoted the sudden shut down of Twitter Blue.

It seems users have been left with more questions than answers since the takeover, and the sudden disappearance of Twitter Blue is just the latest. Until Twitter (or Musk) addresses the matter, it looks like the future of Twitter Blue will remain up in the air.