It’s 4/20. Elon Musk is removing the blue checkmarks from the around 420,000 “legacy verified” accounts that were granted the icon through Twitter’s now-defunct identity verification process.
From this point forward, only users who pay $8 per month (or $11 per month on mobile devices) will have the blue checkmark badge affixed to their Twitter username. As a result, the check mark will no longer serve its original function as an indicator that an account was authentic.
So far, not too many users have signed up. Only around 600,000 out of Twitter’s reportedly 250 million users have subscribed. When it comes to previously verified users – made up of actors, artists, pro athletes, and media figures – even fewer are paying. So far, fewer than 5 percent of those 420,000 legacy verified accounts have decided keeping the checkmark for $8 is worth it.
So who is paying?
Some of the biggest celebrities to cough up the $8 include musical artists like Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Miley Cyrus. In fact, of the few celebs that have signed up, singers and artists probably make up the bulk of it. Britney Spears, The Weeknd, Joe and Nick Jonas, Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, Coldplay, David Guetta, Shawn Mendes, and Snoop Dogg are among the other big names in music who have subscribed.
Over in Hollywood, actors Ryan Reynolds, Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, and Neil Patrick Harris are keeping their blue checkmarks for a monthly fee.
In sports, pro tennis player Novak Djokovic as well as NBA stars Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony subscribed. Pro wrestlers John Cena and Randy Orton did too.
Talk show hosts like Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGenres also subscribe to Twitter Blue, as did online influencers like Mr. Beast and both Jake and Logan Paul.
Even one of the Kardashians decided it was worth it. (It’s Khloe.)
Some celebrities who publicly declared that they wouldn’t subscribe, or criticized the move to pay for a checkmark, like LeBron James, Stephen King, and William Shatner, all have a blue checkmark and are labeled as paying subscribers of Twitter Blue.
There are a few other big-name actors and artists with smaller followings than the ones mentioned who have subscribed to Twitter Blue, but the ones above make up the biggest. Following that you have quite a few big personalities in right-wing politics who have subscribed such as Tucker Carlson, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Joe Rogan.
And even further down the line you have the half of all Twitter Blue subscribers who have fewer than 1,000 followers. This subscriber data comes from independent researcher Travis Brown who has been tracking Twitter Blue subscriptions since earlier this year.
These numbers will fluctuate over time: more might sign up as checkmarks disappear from legacy accounts. The Twitter Blue users mentioned above who have signed up can also decide to cancel their subscription somewhere down the line as well if they later decide it isn’t worth it or want to avoid getting caught up in campaigns to block Blue subscribers. However, Elon Musk failed to convince many legacy verified users to sign up when he first announced plans to remove the legacy verification on the original removal date of April 1.
Some pretty big stars have already publicly and proudly announced that they had no intention to pay for a blue checkmark.
Patrick Mahomes, actors Jason Alexander and Karl Urban, singer Jason Isbell, and Chrissy Teigen all previously claimed that they had no plans to subscribe.
And more celebrities are joining in, refusing to pay as well. For example, on the eve of the the legacy verified check mark removal date, actress Halle Berry tweeted out a video of her entrance on a late night TV.
“Me joining you all tomorrow unverified,” Berry tweeted, indicating she’d rather lose the blue checkmark than pay.
When a fan of comedian Patton Oswalt’s asked him if he’d pay for Twitter Blue, Oswalt responded “ha ha ha fuck no.”
Note: this piece was updated to include the checkmark status of a few additional celebrities.