After completing a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter and also becoming the chief executive of the popular social media platform, Elon Musk decided that it’s time to make some big changes.
The world’s richest man has immediately laid off employees and replaced executives, outlined a change to user verification, and is considering a number of moves that, if implemented, would represent a significant overhaul of the service.
Here is a list of the changes he has made or is considering making.
First thing at the begining of Musk’s Twitter era, was to fire top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde.
Approximately half of the company’s employees were laid off (3,700 staff personnel). Musk defended the layoffs by claiming that the company experienced a “massive drop” in revenue as many advertisers withdrew, and he also claimed that activists are “trying to destroy free speech in America.”
Pay for verification
Twitter will now charge $8 for tick Blue, which includes blue tick verification, verification priority in replies, mentions and search, would be able to post longer videos and audios.
This means that from now on, everyone can have a verified account on Twitter, if they are willing to pay for it.
Furthermore, the executive stated that anyone who does not pay $8 per month on Twitter will have their content buried. Tweets from unverified accounts will be like sifting through the spam folder on Gmail. “Over time, maybe not that long of time, when you look at mentions … the default will be to look at verified [accounts]. You can still look at unverified, just as in your Gmail … you can still look at the probable spam folder” – Musk, via Twitter Space.
He has tweeted several times in support of the latest initiative to sell blue ticks to those who can afford them. He believes the subscription fee will provide Twitter with “a revenue stream to reward content creators,” freeing the company from reliance on advertisers.
A large number of corporate advertisers have taken a step back from Twitter. Some examples include General Motors, General Mills, Audi of America, Mondelez International (Oreo maker), Pfizer Inc, and Ford.
Companies are under increasing pressure to decide whether to continue spending on Twitter following Musk’s takeover and the implementation of sweeping changes, including content moderation.
Content moderation and account reinstatement plans
Elon Musk has stated that the company will form a content moderation council comprised of “widely disparate viewpoints.” He stated that the council will be held accountable for all major content-related decisions, and that no account reinstatement will take place before the council meets.
In a series of tweets, the company’s head of safety and integrity stated that the social media platform’s content moderation capabilities remained in place. The tweets by safety and integrity head, Yoel Roth, moved to reassure users and advertisers following the company’s takeover.
Pay Per View
According to The Washington Post reports, the Twitter executive is considering allowing users to post video content behind a paywall.
In other words, Twitter is developing a feature that will allow users to post videos and charge users to watch them, with the company taking a cut of the profits. Some sort of Only Fans type of move.
Changes to Homepage
The Tesla CEO requested that logged-out users visiting Twitter’s Homepage will be redirected to the Explore page, which displays trending tweets and news stories.
Bringing back Vine
Most recently, Musk launched a poll on his Twitter account, asking users if he should bring back Vine, the app sharing six-second-long videos seen as a precursor to TikTok before being shut down by Twitter in 2016. After nearly 5 million votes, the outcome was 70% in favor. The app’s code, however, has not been updated since 2016, and platforms such as TikTok and YouTube pose formidable competition.
Many more changes are expected to follow anytime.
Source: TheVerge.com, TheGuardian.com, Reuters.com, Bloomberg.com, LiveMint.com, Twitter.com