Elon Musk says Twitter’s color-coded service will start next week

(Reuters) – Twitter plans to roll out its verified service next Friday with different colored checks to individuals, businesses and governments, after a failed initial launch led to a surge in users impersonating celebrities and brands on the platform.

And CEO Elon Musk on Friday assigned colors to the categories — gold for corporations, gray for governments and check blue for individuals including celebrities.

“Painful, but necessary,” he said, adding that verified accounts will have to be manually authenticated before the check is activated.

He said in another tweet on Friday that the revamped $8-a-month service will allow individuals to have a smaller secondary logo for their organizations if they get verified by them. “Prepare an explanation next week.”

The social media platform on Monday delayed its relaunch to make it foolproof as the service is expected to help Twitter boost revenue at a time when Musk is trying to retain advertisers after buying the company last month for $44 billion.

The subscription service, which Musk described as a “great compromiser,” was paused on November 11 as fake accounts proliferated, forcing the world’s richest man to return the “official” badge to some users.

For example, a user posing as drug maker Eli Lilly and Co. tweeted that insulin would be free, which sent the company’s stock plummeting and forced it to issue an apology.

The turmoil drove several companies including General Motors (GM.N) and United Airlines (UAL.O) To pause or withdraw advertisements on the platform. However, user growth on Twitter is at an all-time high, according to Musk.

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Additional reporting by Akanksha Khushi and Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Soumyadib Chakrabarti and Arun Koyor

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