X Will Strip Brands of Verified Checkmarks if They Don’t Spend on Ads (Report)

The platform formerly known as Twitter is set to make the change in August

Brands that haven’t spent at least $1,000 on X ads in the past 30 days or $6,000 in the past 180 days will lose their golden verification checkmarks starting Aug. 7, according to a report. These checkmarks establish that an account legitimately belongs to the brand it claims to represent.

Ahead of this change, X (formerly known as Twitter) will be offering reduced pricing for video ads. The deal is 50% off new bookings until the end of July, according to emails viewed by the Wall Street Journal.

Without a gold checkmark, brands run the risk of impersonators mimicking their accounts. It’s unclear if X has protections in place to ensure that, should a real brand forfeit its checkmark, impersonators cannot make a fake brand account then spend the requisite amount of money on ads to claim a gold checkmark, effectively gaining more “legitimacy” than the real brand page.

A Twitter representative did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

This change seems to be the brand equivalent of X’s policy that individual users must subscribe to Twitter Blue (now X Blue?) in order to be verified, which doesn’t address the fact that anyone can pay the subscription fee to be verified and, as a result, buy sitewide “authenticity,” thereby defeating the point (site owner Elon Musk’s counterargument being that Blue subscriptions are helpful in combatting bots).

As to why X is reportedly going hard on the ad front, it’s no secret the company has been struggling with ad revenue for some time and has been making moves to right the ship. For example, it seemed that advertising veteran Linda Yaccarino was made X CEO in order to get advertisers back on board, though in recent times, more cynical theories have emerged regarding what her real role at the company is.

Regardless, Musk has made it clear getting X’s finances in order is a top priority, despite overtly stating he’ll handicap such efforts in order to say whatever he wants, no matter the consequences.