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Twitter is officially ending its old verification process on April 1. To get a blue check mark, you'll have to pay.

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Twitter will phase out its old verification program starting in April, the company announced Thursday. Followers used to get Twitter's signature blue check mark if they met certain criteria. Now, they will have to pay at least $8 a month to keep that verified status.

Twitter users used to have to request verification. Their accounts had to be "authentic, notable, and active," and they had to meet the criteria of being a government figure or entity, entertainer, athlete, company, activist, content creator, news organization or journalist.

Spam or parody accounts would not be approved, nor would Twitter users who violated Twitter's policies that ban hateful comments, harassment or harmful activity. Verification could be taken away if policies were violated or if a person changed their handle, was not active or if their account was misleading.

Now, however, those rules are being thrown out the window. Twitter said starting April 1, it would "begin winding down our legacy verification program," and only accounts that actively subscribe to Twitter Blue — its new verification program — will keep their blue checks. People who received a blue check mark under the old program will lose it unless they subscribe.

Accounts must be complete, meaning they have a display name and profile photo, and they must have active use in the past 30 days to subscribe. 

Accounts must be older than 90 days, have made no recent changes to the profile, and cannot be deceptive. The account must not show any signs of engaging in manipulation and span.  

When Elon Musk took over the company and announced plans for a blue check mark subscription, many critics raised questions about impersonators and parody accounts paying for a blue check mark, which can deceive other users into thinking they are real people — not fake accounts pretending to be real people.

To try and prevent that, accounts that alter their profiles will temporarily lose their check mark until the Twitter Blue team can review their subscription and deem them verified again.

Accounts that don't follow Twitter policies are also at risk of losing the check mark under the subscription program. 

Unlike the company's past verification criteria, new subscribers to Twitter Blue will not be checked for their activeness, notability or authenticity, Twitter says. 

The subscription costs $8 a month or $84 a year and will not just come with a blue check mark but "early access to features," according to Twitter.

Subscribers can edit tweets, organize and bookmark tweets, customize the display of their Twitter app icon and Twitter page and even customize their profiles to include NFTs. Other new features available to subscribers include an "undo tweet" button that allows you to retract a tweet after you send it, but before it is visible to other Twitter users. 

Currently, tweets can only be 280 characters. Twitter Blue will allow users to write 4,000-character tweets. 

Twitter Blue has been available since November at a lower price point and has already been relaunched once. Those who joined for $7.99 will be renewed for an $11-a-month subscription. Those who joined for $2.99 or $4.99 will be renewed at $8 a month or $11 a month, respectively. Twitter did not explain the discrepancies. 

Musk tweeted that new subscribers can sign up for Twitter Blue for $7 a month. Twitter's website states localized pricing starts at $8 a month. 

Twitter is also rolling out different badges and check marks to distinguish different types of accounts: gold checks for official businesses or corporations, gray for government organizations and officials, an affiliation badge for accounts connected to an organization on Twitter, and a badge for state-run media entities and individuals who are part of those entities. These badges will be automatically added by Twitter. 

In a tweet on Friday, Musk said: "Any individual person's Twitter account affiliated with a verified organization is automatically verified." 

CBS News has reached out to Twitter for more information and is awaiting response. The company's media contact email automatically responds with a poop emoji, which Musk announced earlier this month.

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