Elon Musk says the Twitter Blue relaunch has been delayed, and may use different color controls for organizations

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An image of new Twitter owner Elon Musk is surrounded by Twitter logos in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on November 8, 2022.

STR| Nurphoto | Getty Images

Twitter owner Elon Musk said Monday night that the company plans to delay the relaunch of its $8-per-month Blue Verified service. Musk said Twitter will “probably use a different color control for organizations than for individuals.”

Twitter Blue launched earlier this month but was withdrawn after users abused the new paid option, which Musk hoped would generate new revenue for the platform. It allowed users to pay for a blue check, previously reserved for verified users.

Musk had previously said he planned to relaunch Twitter Blue on November 29.

The paid Blue subscription service led to a plethora of pranksters creating impostor accounts on Twitter. It made the platform even more ripe for misinformation, and many cheaply acquired ticks were used to impersonate brands, politicians, and celebrities with unflattering messages.

For example, a user posing as pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily tweeted, “we’re excited to announce that insulin is now free.”

Eli Lilly’s stock price plummeted after the false message was posted, as did other drug companies, including AbbVie, which was also mimicked on Twitter. At the time, major stock indices were positive amid a market rally.

Twitter has been trialling two checkmarks, including a blue one for paid and previously verified users and a gray “official” checkmark for some brands, such as news organizations. But there was a confusing overlap, with some accounts having both ticks. Musk killed the “Official” checkmark the same day it was rolled out.

The delay comes after Musk gutted much of Twitter’s workforce. About half of the company’s 7,500 employees were laid off earlier this month. Then, last week, another 1,200 full-time employees left, according to The New York Times, after Musk required employees to work “long, high-intensity hours” on his vision for “Twitter 2.0” or resign.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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