UPDATE – November 14, 2022As of today, new subscriptions to Twitter Blue (and therefore Blue-powered verifications) have been suspended. The platform is very fluid and changes are likely to happen frequently. We will keep this post updated as we learn more.
The transition underway at Twitter to a new CEO and leadership team has created uncertainty about the future of the platform. We have been following the news closely, along with the rest of the marketing industry, as it has implications for brands and organizations that rely on Twitter for connections to their customers, prospects, and stakeholders.
On Thursday, November 10 the Federal Trade Commission reinforced that it remains focused on the 2011 consent decree with Twitter, and is “tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern.”
One of the recent changes rolled out by Twitter to its Blue subscription product allows anyone to receive the verified blue “check” next to their profile. This was previously a feature available only to select accounts as a way to verify the account’s authenticity. Almost immediately, impostor accounts with blue checks began to appear.
There are some impostor accounts that are quite difficult to distinguish from the actual brand or individual. The example here is a fictitious account impersonating Apple TV+. Because the creator of this account subscribed to Twitter Blue, users of Twitter see the message “this account is verified.”
Verify immediately: If your organization already has a blue verification check you do not need to take action right now. It is possible that Twitter may begin charging brands for this privilege at any time. If your account does not already have the blue check you should consider adding it by subscribing to Twitter Blue.
Increase brand monitoring and listening: It is possible that clients may see an uptick in impostor brand accounts over the coming days or weeks. This could lead to confusion among customers and stakeholders. Twitter is actively suspending accounts that violate its terms, but it is important to increase vigilance of brand names, organization names and executive names. If you suspect a fictitious or impostor account, report it to Twitter immediately.
Reconfirm account security protocols: Now is an ideal time to review the third-party apps and permissions for your organization’s Twitter account. We also recommend enabling 2-factor authentication for login. Ensure your social team and relevant executive leaders have access to the login/password, and consider proactively updating it. As an added precaution, if you are not actively running ads or subscribing to Blue on Twitter, it is advisable to remove payment information.
Provide alternate contact information: It may be useful to list a secondary contact method in your Twitter profile (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org, or another social channel that you actively monitor). This can be helpful should Twitter account access become intermittent or unstable.
Review your own FTC compliance: The FTC acknowledged that they are keeping a close eye on developments at Twitter. Now is a good time to review your FTC compliance and ensure your content, posts and account are airtight.
FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION
Ad spending: This is a conversation that many in the industry are having. Some large advertisers have halted spending money on Twitter ads while they review the future of brand safety on the platform. We recommend having this conversation internally.
Role of Twitter in your marketing efforts: There will be continued volatility with the platform in the coming weeks. This may create uncertainty among your social media team. We recommend re-evaluating if Twitter is a necessary paid or organic component for your marketing efforts. You can choose to suspend paid and organic use of Twitter while maintaining it as a vital, reactive customer service channel. This will not be the same scenario for every organization, but for some it might make sense to suspend Twitter marketing.
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