Twitter thinks it has a simple solution to the dispute over the “government-funded media” label: get rid of it entirely. The social media giant has removed both that label and the “state-affiliated” description from media accounts, including NPR, PBS and other outlets that have stopped using Twitter in objection to the label they say portrays them. incorrectly as controlled by the government. However, the measure also applies to media sources whose content is actually heavily influenced by governments, including China’s Xinhua, as well as Russia’s RT and Sputnik.
At the same time, Twitter sets new requirements for advertisers. the drum has learned that marketers are now required to pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue or be verified as a notable organization. Any advertiser who is already running at least $1,000 worth of ads will be considered automatically verified. The requirements reflect broader changes to the verification system that will lead to a “superior” experience, Twitter says.
Both changes come a day after Twitter acted on its months-long plan to remove legacy checkmarks. Now only Blue subscribers receive a blue checkmark. Businesses may receive gold checks, while government and multilateral organization accounts may have gray checks. Numerous pre-verified stars and organizations have resisted paying for the blue mark, and Elon Musk has even acknowledged pay for blue subscriptions for celebrities like LeBron James, Stephen King and William Shatner.
Blue and the new rules for advertisers are intended to reduce Twitter’s reliance on conventional ad revenue and move toward subscriptions. However, memberships might be enough this year. Insider Intelligence estimates that Twitter’s ad revenue will fall 27.9 percent in 2023 as advertisers abandon the platform, but only a small fraction of users subscribe to Blue.
The label changes may remove some objections, but it’s not certain that media teams will return as a result. As with the initial release of Blue, there has also been a wave of copycats abusing the lack of verifications. In other words, Twitter still faces some chaos and won’t necessarily resolve it quickly.