Back in April, Tesla’s Elon Musk bought Twitter for US$44billion (A$61.4billion).
The announcement received a mixture of hope and fearl
Musk hasn’t wasted time in shaking things up.
In a statement, Twitter announced:
Get Twitter Blue if you sign up now.. Blue checkmark: power to the people. Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like celebrities, companies and politicians you follow.Twitter
Twitter has also promised users that paid subscribers will see less advertisements on their feed.
No longer completely free
Sure, anyone can make a Twitter account. But some features are no longer free.
Musk listened to users and introduced an edit option for published tweets. But there’s a catch. It isn’t freely available. Instead, users/ brands have to buy the ‘blue’ subscription for US$8 (A$12.37) per month.
That’s not all. On Tuesday, Musk announced that he was calling for an overhaul of Twitter’s verification system. He called the previous verification system “bulls#$t”.
Instead, Musk wants users/ companies/ brands to pay for a blue mark verification. These accounts will get priority in the algorithm; gaining more exposure and engagement.
Musk has also been condemned for laying off around half of Twitter’s 7500 staff.
Musk defended his actions, saying he had no choice. He claimed that Twitter was losing US$4million (A$6.185million) a day. Musk offered no further information on the losses, nor whether staff were going to be paid a three month severence.
According to Fortune, at least one former employee has filed a lawsuit against Musk for violating federal law.
Win for free speech?
Since Musk bought Twitter, it has received mixed reactions. Some have expressed hope that it would bring free speech back to the platform.
On the flip side, some people have expressed fear that it will just spurr on hate speech, especially racism.
English YouTube commentator, Emma Thorne posted a video about the spike on racist tweets, including slurs, that were posted after Musk’s takeover,
Should people just give up on social media?
So, should people abandon social media? Matthew Hennessy from Wall Street Journal thinks so:
…it makes no sense to pay for the privilege of being Twitter’s product. This is an opportunity to be one of the smart ones. Make yourself less dependent on social media. Quit altogether if possible. You won’t have any trouble finding razors and newsletters. And now think what you can do with all the money you’ll save.Matthew Hennessy, Wall Street Journal, later published in The Australian
Maybe that’s not a bad idea.
As a blogger, Twitter has always been a tricky platform to build a following. It’s even tricky for people to see your tweets unless you tweet multiple times a day, (which I don’t).
It’ll be interesting to see how these changes play out. Will tweets from non – paying users be buried and gain no impressions, no matter how many times they tweet in a day?
Ultimately, this is an attempt to save Twitter. Will it work? We’ll have to wait and see. But I’m not holding my breath.
What are your thoughts? Will the changes make you join or delete Twitter? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.