Paid polls: Twitter voting will be exclusive to verified subscribers

28 Mar 2023

Image: © jroballo/

With Twitter Blue available worldwide, Musk is taking new steps to draw people to the subscription service, while dealing with the threat of ‘AI bot swarms’.

Elon Musk is making more changes to Twitter, with plans to restrict certain features to those who pay for a Blue subscription.

The CEO of Twitter said in a tweet that from 15 April, only verified subscribers will be allowed to vote in polls on the site. Musk also said that from that date onwards, only verified accounts will appear in the For You recommendations section.

Musk said these measures are the “only realistic way” to deal with advanced “AI bot swarms” on the platform. He added that it is “otherwise a hopeless losing battle”.

The chief twit had raised issues with the number of bots on Twitter months before he purchased the company last October.

Last May, Musk put the $44bn takeover “temporarily on hold” because he wanted to see how the company calculated the number of spam accounts on its platform.

Estimates varied at the time, as Twitter said less than 5pc of its users were spam accounts, while others predicted the figure was nearly 20pc.

Twitter’s new Blue

Regardless, the decision marks another change Musk is making to the Blue subscription service, which has had periods of controversy in recent months.

Before Musk took over Twitter, the Blue subscription service was advertised as a way to get additional Twitter features such as a customised display and the ability to undo tweets.

One of the biggest changes Musk announced when he first took over the platform was to let users subscribe to receive the ‘verified’ blue tick, which was previously given to users and organisations to prove their identity on the platform.

But the first roll-out of this updated subscription service was paused last November, after a wave of impersonation accounts flooded the platform.

Plans for a revamped relaunch were announced last December, but also included a higher price for iOS users. The price is also higher for Android users currently, with the cheapest option being a web purchase at $8 a month.

Since then, the service has relaunched and is now available worldwide, according to a recent post by the Twitter Blue account. Musk also plans to fully remove the legacy verification system from 1 April, which will mean only paid subscribers will have the verified tick.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic