Elon Musk says Twitter’s color-verified service will launch next week

Nov 25 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc plans to launch its verified service next Friday with different colored checks for individuals, companies and governments, after a botched initial launch led to a surge in users impersonating celebrities and brands on the platform.

CEO Elon Musk on Friday assigned the colors to the categories — gold for companies, gray for governments and blue check for individuals, including celebrities.

“Painful but necessary,” he said, adding that verified accounts will be manually authenticated before verification is enabled.

The revamped $8-a-month service will allow people to have a smaller, secondary logo of their organizations if approved by them, he said in another tweet on Friday. “Longer explanation next week.”

Monday’s social media platform delayed its relaunch to go smoothly as the service is expected to help Twitter boost revenue at a time when Musk is trying to retain advertisers after buying the company last month for $44 billion.

The subscription service, which Musk called an “awesome tier,” was suspended on Nov. 11 as fake accounts mushroomed, forcing the world’s richest man to return the “official” badge to some users.

For example, a user posing as drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co had tweeted that insulin would be free, sending the company’s shares tumbling and forcing it to apologise.

The turmoil is leading several companies, including General Motors (GM.N) and United Airlines (UAL.O) to pause or download ads on the platform. However, Twitter’s user growth is at an all-time high, according to Musk.

Reporting by Akanksha Kushi and Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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