Sometime in the near future, Twitter is expected to overhaul its verification process once again, offering different colored check marks to distinguish account types (gold for companies, gray for government accounts, and blue for individuals). This comes after new owner Elon Musk briefly opened Twitter verification for all accounts subscribed to Twitter Blue at $7.99 per month, before the plan went awry with some prominent impersonations.
Much like everything else during Musk’s time as Twitter owner, questions remain about what the new verification might cost, or if the color coding will stick. But according to the latest CivicScience data, Americans are largely not pleased with his approach to verification. A majority of U.S. adults disapprove of his verification changes to at least some extent, excluding those who answered ‘I’m not sure’. Just over one-quarter strongly approve, which is in line with our latest data about U.S. adults who count themselves as ‘very optimistic’ about Twitter’s long-term prospects right now (24%).
If there’s one saving grace for Musk, it’s that no formidable Twitter alternative has emerged just yet. Some have flocked to Mastodon, an open-source social networking site that silos users off into distinct servers based on subject matter interest. But according to a recent CivicScience study, name recognition is still quite low. A vast majority of Americans (72%) have not heard of Mastodon and just 2% have tried it and like it. Nearly three times as many U.S. adults (17%) are not interested in trying Mastodon compared to intenders (6%).
Daily Twitter users are a much different dataset – more than half of them have at least heard of Mastodon, with nearly one-fifth intending to try it and another fifth who aren’t interested. It’s still early in Musk’s tenure as the owner of Twitter, but this migration – or lack thereof – could be something to monitor.
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