Twitter has been making a lot of changes ever since it was purchased by Elon Musk for 44 billion dollars. The social media company has not been able to turn any profit for more than a decade, and some reputable auditors have since projected that its valuation could be in the 20 billion dollar ballpark.
Musk had praised himself as the person who could unlock the platform’s potential. Agreeably, Twitter is such a great platform that, if managed well, can actually turn a profit and still appeal to its users – but these two goals don’t always coincide with market realities. To put this in context, the platform is far from being the SI unit for free speech (which had been promised before) as it has banned a number of reputable journalists who dared criticize Musk. It has also been a challenge for Musk to generate great ideas about how to make money to recoup his investment.
The last point appears to be a headache for the owner, which is why some controversial decisions have been made. For instance, Twitter Blue, the paid service that brings more features to subscribers is now being pushed more than ever.
From April 1, only users who have subscribed to Blue will have the prestigious blue checkmark. It costs USD 7 if signed up from the web, and much more from other platforms such as iOS. Blue also brings additional features such as reduced bot interactions, longer tweets (up to 4K words!), the ability to edit tweets, and fewer ads on feeds.
However, Elon doesn’t want to stop there. From April 15, only Twitter Blue users will have access to the ‘For You’ tab, which is a feature it lifted from TikTok. The tab shows tweets from accounts that you follow, as well as topics that you might like. The ‘Following’ tab only shows tweets from people you follow.
Why this decision has been made remains to be a mystery to many, because some people do actually use Twitter to see posts from people they follow.
On the other hand, it is actually a big deal for folks that want to discover new content based on the recommendations of people they follow, which can widen the amount of content they consume.
Twitter is further going to limit who can take part in polls from the said date. Only Blue users will be able to vote in polls.
Elon adds that bot accounts will actually be verified (so, they just have to pay) if they follow the terms of service, and do not impersonate another human being. Remember when the idea for buying the social media platform was to eliminate bots?
It is possible more changes will be made in the future, but for now, we will have to brace ourselves for a tumultuous future that will like to save or kill our favourite social media app.