Musk’s X hands out free blue checks and premium subscriptions

X (formerly Twitter) has begun handing out free Premium and Premium Plus subscriptions to accounts with large followings, leaving many unimpressed.

Multiple influential X accounts started noticing the blue “verified” checkmark next to their handles, even though they had not purchased a premium subscription.

Elon Musk announced in a tweet last week that X would be awarding accounts with over 2,500 verified followers a Premium subscription, while accounts with over 5,000 followers would receive a Premium Plus subscription.

Before Twitter became X, the platform awarded the blue checkmark to influential accounts within the public eye, such as celebrities or organisations.

Twitter did this so users could distinguish these accounts from parodies and scammers.

However, after Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform, X turned the checkmark into a perk of owning a Premium or Premium Plus account.

Accounts previously awarded the badge were forced to purchase a subscription to maintain their “verified” status.

Following backlash, Twitter quickly restored the checkmarks to users with over 1 million followers.

This requirement has now been revised, with X awarding blue checks at no cost to users who, in many cases, are uninterested.

Some are even seeking to opt-out, and discovering a setting that lets them hide the mark from their profiles.

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Musk’s X hands out free blue checks and premium subscriptions