Would you pay for that little blue checkmark next to your Twitter handle? According to tech investor Jason Calacanis, users may soon get the opportunity to do that. Twitter already offers verified accounts, but reserves the distinction for select users generally people in the public eye who might have prank accounts in their name.
Twitter already offers verified accounts, but reserves the distinction for select users — generally people in the public eye who might have prank accounts in their name.
Verified accounts can be found in areas such as music, acting, fashion, journalism and politics. President Barack Obama, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and Scandal actress Kerry Washington, for instance, all have them, as do many less well-known figures.
As Twitter explains on its website, verified accounts are currently used to establish the authenticity of identities of high-profile individuals and brands. Currently, the company does not accept verified account requests from users, and decides who snags that coveted blue checkmark on its own.
Calacanis claimed that “Verified Twitter” may prove another significant source of revenue for the company. Indeed, Twitter has been aggressive in creating new revenue streams, signing deals with Google, Flipboard and Yahoo Japan.
Changing gears and letting anyone pay to play might generate incremental revenue in the short-term. But in the long run, it would negate the whole point of verified accounts: authenticity and exclusivity.
Verified users — William Shatner most vocal among them — already complain that the blue checkmark has lost its value. Imagine what it would mean if you couldn’t even tell whether the verified user had done anything more accomplished than paying a dollar. Read more…