Twitter verified accounts for Blue subscribers are live. Sort of. Somewhere. Soon.

Chance Miller, writing for 9to5mac, includes the release notes for the newest Twitter app for iOS, in this article describing the new Twitter Blue details:

Starting today, we’re adding great new features to Twitter Blue, and have more on the way soon. Get Twitter Blue for $7.99/month if you sign up now

Blue checkmark: Power to the people: Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.

Notice that “journalists” and “organisations” are surprisingly not listed alongside politicians, celebrities, and companies. Anyway, I am convinced the verification badge and the “blue subscriber” badge should be two separate and complementary badges, with a different set of features. Merging the two is weird at best, and it diminishes the meaning of the verified badge. This is not a new problem: Twitter has been confused about this for a long time, but making things worse while pretending to solve them is just confusing, but this is a discussion for another day.

Also mentioned in the release notes, some interesting features “coming soon” (so I guess just like the Cybertruck):

Half the ads & much better ones: Since you’re supporting Twitter in the battle against the bots, we’re going to reward you with half the ads and make them twice as relevant.

Of course the holiday season is coming and there is no way Twitter will cut half the ads during the most lucrative period of the year. I guess this feature will be released when it’s more convenient for Twitter finances? Or when the current advertising deals expire? This delay doesn’t seem to be related to an engineering problem.

Post longer videos: You’ll finally be able to post longer videos to Twitter.

This to me is the most interesting part of the announcement, feature-wise, for “video content creators” especially. For them, this seems like a good reason to pay for Twitter Blue, if these creators actually use Twitter to share videos natively on the platform.

Priority ranking for quality content: Your content will get priority ranking in replies, mentions and search. This helps lower the visibility of scams, spam, and bots.

You have to love the copywriting on these release notes, you can tell they did all this in a rush, with limited staff. It basically reads like “as a Blue subscriber, you’ll not be considered as scam, spam, or a bot, like the other suckers who won’t pay.”

And then the kicker, because it’s not only those who decide not to pay that may be considered as spam, scam, or bots by this “quality algorithm”:

Availability: Twitter Blue with verification is currently available on iOS in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

So the quality of the content, according to Twitter, will be judged by: the quality of content, being or not a “blue subscriber,” and living in one of these 5 countries. Great.

To me, this whole release looks like another recipe for disaster, and instead of encouraging people to sign up for Blue, it may just push those who won’t pay to delete their account even faster, which will obviously hurt advertising and the — already limited and tanking — popularity of the platform.

It’s a rough start but at least new things are being released you say? Well, apparently not so much; this is Kyle Wiggers, writing for TechCrunch:

Update: It appears that the launch might’ve been premature. According to a tweet by Esther Crawford, a product lead at Twitter, the new Twitter Blue plan isn’t live yet but some users are seeing notifications as part of a live test.

When it comes to tech news, I think today will qualify as one of the busiest and messiest Saturdays…

Looking back on my departure of Twitter, I am glad I deleted my account before the storm reached the shores. I am glad I got to divorce from my beloved Twitter before things became messed up, and before our sweet memories together were spoiled. Now that I’m not on the platform anymore, I can watch all this peacefully from a distance.

Also, if I’m being honest, I’m kinda glad Musk’s debuts are so rough: of course because I don’t like him very much, but this whole mess gives us a many great new articles to read daily on one of my favourite topics. I’m actually very entertained, in a pleasing doom-scrolling state of mind, despite the profound and poorly disguised jackassery of the new owner.