Social media company Twitter on Thursday started removing the blue tick icons that were a mark of verification of users’ identity on the platform.

The blue tick, which was so far seen as a mark of authenticity of profiles of celebrities, journalists, other prominent figures, organisations and government bodies, will now be available to any user who pays a monthly subscription fee of $8 (over Rs 650).

Select few user accounts linked to organisations verified by Twitter now have a gold tick mark along with a square-shaped logo of the firm. Meanwhile, government and multilateral organisations and officials have a grey checkmark, Twitter has said in a policy document.

Days after world’s richest person, Elon Musk, closed the deal to buy Twitter in October, he had floated the proposal of charging $20 (more than Rs 1,600) as a monthly subscription fee for the blue tick.

Following backlash over the price, Musk reduced the amount to $8 but soon suspended the subscription plan as several impostor accounts, including those with names of the billionaire industrialist himself and his firms Tesla and SpaceX, emerged on the platform.

The purging of the blue ticks was delayed once again earlier this month before Musk announced that it will be done starting April 20.

A message that appears on clicking the blue ticks now reads: “This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”

However, author Stephen King wrote in a tweet that he continues to have the verification mark even though he has not paid the subscription fee or verified his phone number. Famous basketball player LeBron James also continues to have the blue tick even as he had tweeted earlier that he would not pay the subscription fee

In response to King’s tweet, Musk replied: “You’re welcome namaste”.

In a separate tweet about some celebrities retaining the blue tick, Musk wrote he was paying for some of them personally.

However, concern about impersonating celebrities or official Twitter accounts continue to remain. Some users posted tweets highlighting the confusion that might emerge due to doing away with the verification marks.