Verified on Twitter: Exploring the Impact of the Blue Check Mark on Businesses
A little blue check mark on Twitter used to mean you were at the top of your game in the Twitterverse. Many saw this verification badge as a status symbol, but it also helped users identify legit accounts. Now that Twitter has removed legacy check marks, are people worried about who they can trust on the platform? Furthermore, with a new CEO at Twitter’s helm, how do businesses feel about its future? We surveyed consumers and business owners to discover how perceptions of Twitter have (or have not) changed.
- 56% of business owners think Twitter made the wrong decision in removing blue check marks from some accounts.
- 62% believe removing blue check marks will impact Twitter’s trustworthiness.
- 1 in 10 business owners report that a customer expressed trust or confidence in their business because the business had a blue check mark on Twitter.
- 51% of business owners believe removing blue check marks will negatively impact businesses on Twitter—just 6% feel this will have a positive impact.
- Only 37% of business owners think Twitter’s new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, will positively influence the platform.
- The most important issues business owners want the new CEO to address are:
- Bots and fake accounts (61%)
- Balance between free expression and responsible content management (51%)
- Misinformation and disinformation (51%)
- Hate speech, harassment, and online abuse (51%)
- 69% of business owners want the new CEO to reinstitute the original blue check mark.
- 1 in 4 business owners wants Elon Musk to remain Twitter’s CEO.
- Over 60% of users think Twitter made the wrong decision in removing blue check marks from some accounts.
- 59% say these removals will impact how they perceive certain Twitter accounts.
- 73% of users will be more skeptical of business accounts now that some blue check marks have been removed.
- A blue check mark account has deceived 1 in 4 Twitter users.
- 59% of social media users would like to see more transparency in the social media verification process.
- When purchasing from a business, having a blue check mark on Twitter is extremely important to 29% of users.
- Users most often perceive brands with a blue check mark on Twitter as established and reputable (51%) and credible and trustworthy (45%).
- 51% of users believe removing blue check marks will negatively impact businesses on Twitter—only 10% feel it will positively impact them.
- According to users, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are the most important social media platforms for business verification.
Business Verification Wanted
Interestingly, over half of business owners thought having a blue check mark on Twitter wasn’t that important for their business. Still, most agreed with consumers that removing verification badges was a mistake and hoped the new Twitter CEO would reinstate them. Users want social media platforms to verify accounts and businesses so they know who can be trusted, and business owners want platforms to combat bots and fake accounts. They also want platforms to balance free speech with protection against misinformation, hate speech, and online harassment.
As Twitter moves forward, perhaps they can improve the transparency of their verification process and take more accountability for the content on their platforms, so consumers can feel confident engaging with businesses—blue check mark or not.
We surveyed 800 consumers and 200 business owners to explore their sentiments toward Twitter’s verification process. To gather sentiments on the new Twitter CEO, we conducted a second survey of 210 business owners.
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