X is giving blue checks away for free

Numerous well-known journalists and others expressed surprise, and in many cases, frustration, upon finding that their verified blue checks had unexpectedly reappeared on Elon Musk’s X platform. One such individual, Peter Kafka, shared a message from X confirming that the upgrade was intentional.

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The message stated, “As an influential member of the community on X, we’ve given you a complimentary subscription to X Premium subject to X Premium Terms by selecting this notice.”

X later clarified in a tweet that any accounts with over 2,500 verified (i.e., paid Premium or Premium+ blue tick subscribers) would receive Premium features for free, while those with over 5,000 would also receive the ad-free Premium+ tier at no cost.

Previously, only users with large follower counts in the million range, along with celebrities and corporations/media companies, received free Premium blue checks. This new approach appears to be an effort to include influential users with lower follower counts, particularly journalists, in the Premium tier.

This change may have been prompted by X’s recognition of the need for more journalists with blue checks. Some users had complained that X is no longer the premier platform for breaking news, especially in light of recent events like the Taiwan earthquake, Turkey elections, and Baltimore bridge collapse.

Journalists, who often report or amplify such news, have experienced reduced visibility, while X’s algorithms prioritize blue check content and replies. Consequently, individuals with minimal followers, such as novice commentators or promoters of questionable content, may appear more prominently in replies compared to experienced journalists offering valuable and accurate information.