Twitter Blue is currently missing from the iPhone app menu rail. On iPads, it’s still there, except clicking the subscribe option throws an error. One of Engadget’s editors tried it on his iPad and received a notification that it will be available in his country in the future, even though he is in the United States, one of the places launch of the service. Twitter has yet to announce why Blue is acting, but according to the reverse application engineer Jane Manchun Wong, the in-app purchase for Twitter Blue verification is no longer listed for production. One of his followers said he paid for a subscription and got verified, but now his blue tick has missing in action.
The Washington Post and Zoe Schiffer from Platform reported on Monday that they had viewed internal Slack messages in which Twitter staff confirmed they had suspended the launch of Twitter Blue “to help address impersonation issues.” Schiffer went on to say in a thread that Twitter effectively made Twitter Blue untraceable on the web and also blocked signups through the iOS app. The “official” label is currently reserved for advertisers, but existing Blue subscribers will otherwise continue to have access to the features they paid for.
NEW: Twitter has suspended the launch of Twitter Blue and is actively trying to block people from subscribing “to help address impersonation issues,” according to an internal memo. 1/
— Zoe Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) November 11, 2022
It’s been mayhem and mayhem since Twitter launched its $8 Blue subscription service. Its main draw at the moment is instant verification, and people quickly got hooked on the idea that it can be used to create parodies or fake accounts that look legit. A fake Nintendo of America account tweeted a picture of Mario giving everyone the middle finger, for example, while a fake Valve account posted a new competitive rig.
Twitter launched a series of bans to get rid of inauthentic accounts, and it eventually decided to block new users from signing up for Blue. Additionally, the website has rolled out its “official” gray checkmarks to select notable accounts and public figures earlier. Twitter removed these “official” labels after an initial flawed release with the intention of verifying government and commercial entities first. But the company’s support account said it was distributing them again in an effort to combat identity theft.
In addition to dealing with copycats and fake accounts, Twitter employees — those who stayed after the mass layoffs, anyway — also have internal drama to think about. Chief information security officer Lea Kissner, chief privacy officer Damien Kieran and chief compliance officer Marianne Fogarty have all reportedly left the company. Elon Musk, the company’s new owner, also told remaining employees that Twitter was losing so much money that “bankruptcy is not out of the question.”
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