UPDATE 4/23/2023: Since publication on Friday, several changes have been made to the verification of accounts mentioned in the article. Influencer and celebrity accounts that have had their blue checks reinstated include those of Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Beyoncé, Trixie Mattel, both D’Amelio sisters, Addison Rae, Loren Gray and Selena Gomez. All blue-check accounts currently state that the user has subscribed to Twitter Blue and provided their phone number, even when that is not the case. Mattel is among the multiple celebrities who have made public statements that they did not subscribe. Among brands mentioned, Chanel and Fenty Beauty now have gold checks, and Kylie Cosmetics has a blue check.
“So this is what it feels like to be unverified 🥲,” read a tweet by beauty mega-influencer Patrick Starrr on Thursday as Twitter’s promised blue-check purge finally went into effect.
Public figures such as Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé are now among those without Twitter verification after the platform implemented Elon Musk’s change to the system first announced nearly six months ago.
In the world of #BeautyTwitter, dark humor has been a major theme of comments by influencers about the verification removals. Many are reacting to their loss of the blue check, while some are offering their fans an explanation of why they felt the need to subscribe after all.
Starrr, who lost his blue check, followed up his tweet about the situation with a GIF and joke about “joining regular Twitter.” Beauty influencer Eleanor Barnes, better known as Snitchery, also held a mock celebration with a joke about feet pics.
With Twitter full of jokes that a blue check is now a mark of shame due to the $8-a-month requirement, some influencers are making it clear that they have no interest in paying.
“Elon hurry up and take this blue check i don’t need nobody thinking im paying for Twitter,” tweeted beauty influencer Ashley Strong on April 12, nearly two weeks after the original purge date of April 1 had been set by Twitter. When the day finally came on Thursday, she followed up with, “OMFG he rea-.” Trixie Cosmetics founder and “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” star Trixie Mattel tweeted, “does everyone with the bogus check mark feel weird now.”
Top TikTokers including Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Addison Rae and Avani Gregg have also lost their blue checks on Twitter. The D’Amelio sisters’ dad, Marc D’Amelio, tweeted that he had no interest in paying the subscription price, writing, “RIP my blue check. I will survive. I would gladly pay for a subscription service that offers a benefit, but I am not being forced to pay for the ‘status’ of being verified. Offer me something as a premium service but don’t hold my blue check hostage. It’s not that important.” Gregg seemed taken aback by her check’s disappearance, tweeting, “WTF IS TWITTER BLUE 😭.”
While Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are generally the platforms most associated with beauty influencers, some have built up their biggest audiences on Twitter. Makeup influencer Shaniah Bell, who has over 159,000 Twitter followers and 16,000-22,000 followers on each of the three other platforms mentioned, lamented the change with several GIFs and a tweet stating, “elon really strict af im crying.” She also reposted her original tweet celebrating her blue-check status from 2021.
Some beauty influencers did keep their blue checks, including Manny MUA, Abby Roberts, Sean Garrette and Tiara Willis.
Skinfluencer Willis, who counts Twitter as her biggest platform, previously told Glossy that she was willing to pay for the Twitter Blue subscription for account security and warding off imposters.
James Nord, the founder of influencer marketing agency Fohr, recommended the verification for this purpose, stating, “Nobody was complaining about paying for Instagram verification. I think if you’re a professional influencer, the idea that you wouldn’t pay $8 to protect your identity is misguided.”
Manny MUA felt the need to offer an explanation for why he decided to pay the $8 a month, saying he bought the Twitter Blue subscription in order to keep the two-step security sign-in function via SMS that was removed for anyone who didn’t subscribe. He made his unhappiness with the situation clear, writing, “Twitter is so whack.”
Subscribing to Twitter Blue has been met with widespread derision among public figures. Actress Kira Kosarin tweeted that the new subscription system amounts to a “fake cool kids club.” After Stephen King and LeBron James both stated publicly that they were not willing to subscribe, Musk admitted that some blue checks for celebrities were still being offered for free.
“Imagine inventing a product so despised you can give it away for free as a weapon. That’s true innovation,” said writer Matt Novak in a viral tweet about the situation.
When asked whether he’d eventually subscribe to Twitter Blue, Starrr told Glossy via Instagram DM, “I’m not sure yet. I’m interested to see if purchasing the subscription would fuel visibility to your page. We shall see!” But he added that he does not see the check as a status symbol. “Social media shouldn’t verify your self worth as a person. As a founder now, I’m striving for making the most authentic connection with my audience… and that’s all the verification I need.”
Beauty brands, meanwhile, have also seen changes to their check marks. When the official gold check mark system was abruptly rolled out for consumer brands in January this year, many brands’ social managers reported seeing their check marks change from blue to gold with no communication from the platform.
Since then, Twitter has introduced a paid system, charging brands $1,000 a month for the gold checks and an extra $50 for each sub-account. Twitter’s top 500 advertisers and top 10,000 most-followed brand accounts on Twitter can reportedly keep their gold checks for free, according to a New York Times report citing an internal company document. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
As of yesterday, beauty brands that previously had a gold check but no longer have one include Ulta Beauty, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, MAC Cosmetics, Jo Malone, CeraVe, Maybelline and Sephora.
Dior still has its gold check mark, while Chanel does not.
Rihanna and Fenty Beauty both now have a blue check mark, while Fenty Beauty’s had previously been gold.
Other celebrities with brands no longer have a check. Kardashian’s brands Skims and SKKN By Kim are check-less, as are the accounts of Kylie Jenner and her beauty brand, and both Selena Gomez and her brand Rare Beauty.