Alongside of the relaunch of Twitter Blue, Twitter’s controversial subscription service, Twitter has begun rolling out a new offering called Blue for Business that adds a gold checkmark to company accounts. On a support page, Twitter says Blue for Business, which is currently in testing, is intended to designate that a given Twitter account is a “corporate entity.”
Blue for Business doesn’t come as a complete surprise. In November, reporter Casey Newton obtained internal Twitter documents showing that the social network planned to introduce a business tier of its subscription plan that’d let companies buy verification badges for their workers and put new badges on their profiles. In mockups, tweets from workers included additional badges next to their names so that their status was immediately noticeable in the timeline.
Shortly afterward, app engineer Jane Manchun Wong found evidence that Twitter profiles subscribed to Blue for Business might get square profile photos.
There’s no sign of any worker-badge-buying feature or uniquely shaped profile photos, but TechCrunch spotted several corporate and media publisher accounts with gold-colored checkmarks this afternoon — not to be confused with the forthcoming gray marks for government and “multilateral accounts.” Esther Crawford, director of product management at Twitter, said over the weekend to expect it; businesses “who previously had relationships with Twitter” would receive gold checkmarks before Blue for Business opens up to more companies “via a new process,” she explained.
The pricing structure for Blue for Business — assuming there is one — isn’t yet clear, as it’s not detailed on the support page. We’ll update this post once we learn more.
With the various flavors of Blue, Musk seeks to bring Twitter to profitability as the company faces an estimated $1 billion a year in interest payments on $13 billion in debt. It’s likely to be an uphill battle. Data from analytics firm Sensor Tower suggests that Twitter’s app has generated only $6.4 million in in-app purchases to date, with Blue being the top purchase.
Blue has evolved chaotically since Musk’s takeover this fall, rolling out this week with a new review step aimed at combating the sorts of account impersonations that have plagued Twitter over the past few months. Available in five countries as of this week, including the U.S., Blue now costs $8 per month or $11 per month for iOS sign-ups. (The higher cost for iOS sign-ups is likely a move by Twitter to offset the cost of Apple’s 30% commission for in-app purchased subscriptions.)
Twitter Blue subscribers gain the ability to edit their tweets, upload 1080p videos and access to a “reader mode,” plus see reduced ads and have their tweets “rocketed” to the top of replies, mentions and search.