Twitter won’t let accounts less than 90 days old sign up for its Blue subscription service when it relaunches (presumably on the 29th), according to an update to the About Twitter Blue page. This means that you won’t be able to just create a new account and instantly get it verified, which could be a bid to cut down on scams and impersonator accounts like the ones that almost immediately plagued the service the first time the updated Blue launched.
The old program didn’t have a set waiting period, according to an archive of the page provided by the Wayback Machine, but it did have a warning that “Twitter accounts created on or after November 9, 2022, will be unable to subscribe to Twitter Blue at this time.” While that restriction clearly wasn’t going to stick around forever, it is interesting that it’s being replaced with a specific number; in theory, people could stockpile troll accounts, knowing that they’ll be able to get them verified come March.
Is this just kicking the verified fake can three months down the road?
Twitter will have some policies in place to try and mitigate this; CEO Elon Musk has said that changing your verified name will make you lose your check mark until Twitter confirms your new name doesn’t violate its terms of service. (Musk has also said that if you want to create a parody account, you have to say it’s a parody in the name.) The new Twitter Blue page also says that the company “may also impose waiting periods for new accounts in the future in our discretion without notice,” which does add some ambiguity back to the rules around how you can get a blue check mark.
While those restrictions should keep people from getting verified and changing their name to match whoever is trending that day, we’ve seen a lot of impersonators go after evergreen targets instead, sometimes to great effect. It’s also unclear if the system has any way to deal with someone who changes their name and handle after 90 days but before signing up for Twitter Blue or how it will adjust as the internet’s pranksters worm their way around other new restrictions, $7.99 at a time.
It’s a high-stakes game for Twitter — some of the world’s largest ad firms, including Twitter’s biggest spender, have warned clients away from spending money on the platform. One of the reasons they’ve cited is the damage a wave of fake verified accounts could potentially do to brands’ images.