Twitter 'Affiliate' badges arrive to combat brand impersonation

The company is also rolling out square profile pictures for brands.

Igor Bonifacic / Engadget

In mid-November, Elon Musk said Twitter was working on a feature that would allow brands and organizations to identify accounts associated with them. A month later, the company has begun rolling that feature out. As first spotted by social media consultant (and former Next Web journalist) Matt Navarra, Twitter has added a new "Affiliate" badge that can appear alongside an account's verified checkmark. The purpose of the icon is to point you to the account's parent account if it's not the primary account of a brand or organization. For instance, if you visit the Twitter Support account, you can click on the badge to go straight to the main Twitter account. Brands now also have square profile pictures to further differentiate their presence on the platform.

Musk first announced the feature in the same week that Twitter made its first failed attempt at rolling out paid account verification. After the company began enrolling users into its revamped Twitter Blue subscription, verified trolls used the service to impersonate brands and celebrities. The situation was a nightmare for businesses like Eli Lilly. The pharmaceutical firm saw billions of dollars erased from its market cap after a fake "verified" account misled people into believing the company was making insulin free.