The award process has long been a thorn in the side of Twitter owner Elon Musk. Now the previously free blue verification symbol should soon be history.

Twitter plans to start removing the free blue tick icons for verified profiles on April 1st. In order to keep the sign, individuals would have to subscribe to the Twitter Blue subscription, which costs eight euros per month, it said in a tweet on Friday night.

Twitter owner Elon Musk also pointed out that accounts connected to companies and organizations verified on Twitter are automatically given the symbol. Twitter set the basic price for verified companies and organizations in Germany at 950 euros per month plus 50 euros for each connected account. After Musk’s $44 billion takeover, Twitter is struggling with declining advertising revenues and is hoping for subscription revenue.

The verification ticks used to be given free of charge by Twitter to celebrities, politicians or journalists. After buying the service last fall, Musk claimed that the previous procurement process was “corrupt”. Instead, everyone should be able to get the icon with the subscription without a trial.

Musk argued that authentication through payment services and app platforms adequately protects against misuse of the new system. But that didn’t stop many users from creating fake celebrity and corporate accounts with verification ticks. It hit sports stars, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and the fruit specialist Chiquita, among others. Twitter suspended the subscription function for several weeks after the chaos.

Since December there has been a procedure in which subscription customers also have to meet several requirements. Among other things, your account must be at least 90 days old and linked to a phone number. Corporate accounts have a yellow and gold icon, and governments and other organizations have a gray icon.

Musk had repeatedly announced that the previously assigned ticks should be phased out over time. The Blue subscription has been available worldwide since Thursday. Several owners of the old symbols reported a warning in their profiles that they had to subscribe in order not to lose the tick.

Twitter did not provide any information on how quickly the old symbols should be removed. As has recently been the case, inquiries sent to the Twitter press office email address only received an answer with a feces emoji. Musk had dissolved the press department.