Twitter Blue Will Soon Be Required For Polls And 'For You' Recommendations

Elon Musk's latest Twitter move will tune the platform's recommendation algorithm heavily in favor of accounts that pay for a Twitter Blue subscription. On Monday, Musk said in a tweet that "only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations." The change will go into effect on April 15. To recall, Twitter started showing two separate feeds on the home page – For You and Following – in January this year.

The former contains content that is algorithmically presented to you based on your browsing habits, while the Following feed is where you see the tweets from the accounts that you follow. According to Musk, showing content only from verified accounts in For You is the only way to address Twitter's bot problem. Critics say such a change may degrade the quality of the social experience offered by Twitter. In response to a user's concern that this restriction may reduce trust in the platform as well, Musk said that "this will be the only platform you can trust."

Paying so that strangers will see your tweets

Musk argues that limiting recommendations to posts from verified accounts is "the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle." As well, Twitter users will only be able to vote in polls if they have a Blue subscription, according to Musk, who says the goal of quashing bots is the same motivation behind that change. 

Of course, a verified badge no longer means what it did in the pre-Musk era. Before the billionaire paid $44 billion to buy the company and became its CEO, Twitter only offered a verified badge to accounts that were important or notable — or, to put it another way, accounts that were important enough that a scammer would want to impersonate them and, therefore, a blue badge was required to highlight their authenticity.

Under Musk's ownership, however, Twitter is selling verified badges as the key perk of its Twitter Blue subscription, which starts at $8 per month. The company will take back the verified badge from all legacy accounts and starting April 1, only the accounts that pay the Twiter Blue tax will be able to keep the verified checkmark. It'll only be a couple of weeks later that the For You recommendations will be solely filled with posts from paying users, and that alone, of course, is not a guarantee that you'll see meaningful and high-quality content.