Everyone knows the blue checkmark on Twitter. Some users despise it. Others desperately wish they had one next to their username. The feature has been hotly contested over the years and the verification process has been shrouded in mystery for a while now.
Now, Twitter is preparing to bring verification back. It is currently seeking input from users on how to best implement the feature. Moreover, it intends to do things differently than it did last time to help avoid tense flare-ups on the platform.
Blue Checks are Back
It isn’t a total surprise that Twitter is preparing to launch a revamped verification system. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong alluded to it back in June. However, Twitter didn’t confirm the feature until Tuesday.
It now plans to roll out its verification system in “early 2021.”
As it stands, the policy states that government accounts, companies, brands, nonprofits, news media accounts, entertainers, sports teams and players, activists, organizers, and “other influential individuals” are eligible for a blue check. These accounts will need to meet a number of requirements that are specific to their area. For instance, an athlete can be verified if they appear on a professional team’s roster while an entertainer could get their check by having enough production credits on IMDB.
The new policy sheds a lot of light on how Twitter will be verifying people moving forward. That is a major change from the company’s previous practices.
Interestingly, Twitter isn’t developing the process on its own. Now that the draft proposal is public information, the company wants feedback from its users. Twitter will release a final version of the policy on December 17 after taking users’ opinions into account.
Moving forward, blue checkmarks won’t be the only way that Twitter helps users verify their status. A company blog post from Tuesday reads, “The blue verified badge isn’t the only way we are planning to distinguish accounts on Twitter. Heading into 2021, we’re committed to giving people more ways to identify themselves through their profiles, such as new account types and labels.”
At this point, it remains unclear what those labels might look like and how they will be awarded. We’ll have to wait for Twitter’s official verdict. The social media giant says that it plans to address further details in the coming weeks.
It will be interesting to see what it has in store. Since many users have no hope of earning a blue checkmark, unique labels could give positive, helpful users a way to feel validated on the platform.
If there is one thing Twitter needs, it is less toxicity. Perhaps the account labels will work both ways, spotlighting some users for doing good things and making it clear that others aren’t.
In the meantime, users can now share their voices regarding the new verification policy. Twitter is asking for users to chime in using the tag #VerificationFeedback before December 8.