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How getting the blue tick on Twitter became end goal of the influencer generation

The ultimate status symbol of the digital age, sadly, cannot be acquired, even for a price.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 17, 2020, 06.35 PM IST
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The microblogging platform suspended its account verification exercise in November 2017, effectively freezing the number of users with blue ticks to their names.
The microblogging platform suspended its account verification exercise in November 2017, effectively freezing the number of users with blue ticks to their names.
Shopping may be the hobbyhorse of the well-heeled, but there are some things money just can’t buy. Picasso paintings and gold-encrusted golf clubs can be procured easily enough. Supercars are passé. Private jets are cool, but there’s no guarantee some sleepy missile operator is going to smoke you out of the sky. Insurance money is worthless in the afterlife.

Luxury yachts are old hats. Arks cost a lot more than they did in Noah’s day, but a DIY-boat kit might be a good investment. The sea levels are rising again, or so, tweets Greta Thunberg. Gods speak from the keyboards of babes and sucklings. If keeping one’s head above water wasn’t hard enough, automation is putting millions out of work.

A leaner workforce is increasing the profit margins of corporations. The rich are getting richer. But their opinions count for nothing if they don’t have a blue tick to their name on Twitter. The ultimate status symbol of the digital age, sadly, cannot be acquired, even for a price.

The microblogging platform suspended its account verification exercise in November 2017, effectively freezing the number of users with blue ticks to their names. Even though a tick is simply used to indicate that users are who they claim to be, it has come to symbolize a career goal, especially for those in public policy, business or media jobs.

In fact, the rise of social media platforms has spawned a new class of publicist: the influencer. Armed with smartphones, these individuals usually rave about products or experiences, their airbrushed posts raking in likes and dollars.

Some of these digitally-savvy youngsters earn seven-figure sums per post. Think Kylie Jenner. Each of Jenner’s Instagram posts is worth about USD 1 million, and reaches about 158 million followers - more than the number of people who live in the world’s largest country, Russia.
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Jack Dorsey, in a recent video, let slip the identity of the man who prepares Twitter’s version of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, the arbiter of blue-tick worthiness.
Jack Dorsey, in a recent video, let slip the identity of the man who prepares Twitter’s version of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, the arbiter of blue-tick worthiness.

The decision of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to step away from hereditary monarchy and support themselves by launching a goopy lifestyle brand for the Instagram generation is indicative of the shift in power. Even the blue bloods crave the blue-tick life.

The now-freelance royals, inured to providing fodder for paparazzi, are being monetized by third parties. By taking control of what they want the world to see, Harry and Meghan will be hoping that they can strike out on their own in the New World by encashing their celebrity. But impressing a millennial audience, wary of outmoded institutions like the monarchy, might prove to be hard.

The opacity of Twitter’s verification process is partially responsible for its allure. The blue tick became the new knighthood. The titled class was given the leeway to spout claptrap to online proles. Twitter put up an online form where one could request verification. This was put “on hold” next year.

Jack Dorsey, in a recent video, let slip the identity of the man who prepares Twitter’s version of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, the arbiter of blue-tick worthiness. “

There’s a guy named Kayvon, and he handles all the verification, which is the blue checkmark. So if you either DM him, or mention him, you have a high probability of getting a blue checkmark. So it’s @K-A-Y-V-Z. Verification, he’s the verification god. So just go to him and he’ll get you sorted,” Dorsey said.

The “guy named Kayvon” referenced by Dorsey is Kayvon Beykpour, who co-founded Periscope, the live video app that was integrated into Twitter’s interface. Beykpour is currently Twitter’s head of product and was at CES last week. It is unlikely that the product head of Twitter decides who gets a blue tick, but that hasn’t prevented his inbox from getting flooded with verification requests.

The verification god was forced to change his Twitter bio to: “product lead @twitter & co-founder of @Periscopeco. SORRY I’M NOT THE “VERIFICATION GOD” AND WON’T BE ABLE TO VERIFY YOU.”

Some newly-minted blue ticks have taken to Twitter to express their gratitude to the “guy named Kayvon.” A blue tick might be a DM away.

Tech That Stole The Show At CES 2020: Rotating TV, AI Camera, Versatile Hearing Aid

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10 Jan, 2020
Just one more day remains for one of the biggest tech conventions, CES 2020, to come to an end. This year, we saw flying cars, rolling robots and smart everything - from kitchens, to plant pots. Biggest innovators, the likes of Samsung, LG and others brought their best to the table and truly redefined what tech means to us.However, there were some pieces of tech that were so pathbreaking that they won hearts at the trade show. To get you up to speed, we have prepared a comprehensive list of technologies that truly stole the show at CES 2020.
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