7 Changes as Elon Musk Lords Over Twitter

Chief Twit starts transforming the social platform by firing the board and key executives

Category:

It’s been only a week since tech billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter but the world’s richest man set in motion some major changes within the San Francisco-based company.

Since the $44-billion acquisition took effect, the tech CEO has since been making announcements of massive lay-offs, the implementation of verified account subscription and advertising fees, free-speech policies, and the possible return of banned accounts.

Here‘s a closer look at what changes we should be anticipating in the coming months.

  1.  Lay-Offs and Firing of Top Executives

On his first day at the helm of Twitter, Musk fired senior executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, CLO Vijaya Gadde, and General Counsel Sam Edgett. Musk was reportedly aiming to reduce Twitter’s employment by 75% but later backtracked. Even though Musk later denied making the alleged claim, the remaining Twitter employees are not comforted by the idea of losing four executives Thursday last week.

The layoffs decision this week, in a report by the Washington Post, came after a week-long assessment of Twitter, where Musk and his deputies imposed a product freeze that stopped development on Twitter’s internal projects in order to proceed with plans to lay off about 50 percent of the company’s staff.

  1. Banned Accounts Make a Comeback

Aside from causing a massive overhaul in manpower, Musk has also opened up the idea of welcoming back people who have previously been banned by Twitter for various violations. The most prominent in the list, of course, is former President Donald Trump among many other microblogging pariahs.

However, the tech mogul has since stressed that the reinstatement of banned accounts wouldn’t come as early as weeks after the US midterm polls. He stressed the company needs to still needs to figure out its “election integrity” policies among many other guidelines for conduct within the app.

“Twitter will not allow anyone who was de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on the platform until we have a clear process for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks,” Musk tweeted.

  1. Verified Accounts to Pay Subscription Fees

After earlier saying he will impose a $19.99 subscription fee, Elon Musk made a counteroffer to those who have criticized his earlier proposal as the fee to maintain a verified Twitter account.

With the promise of letting anybody pay to earn a desired blue check mark to validate their account, Musk revealed on Tuesday that he wanted to charge $8 per month for Twitter’s membership service Twitter Blue. At the moment, Twitter Blue costs $5 per month, but it doesn’t have the benefit of a verified checkmark.

After deciding the user is “genuine, prominent, and active,” Twitter usually gives verified badges to account holders at no cost. Users are usually informed by the blue check mark that a celebrity, journalist, politician, or other famous figure’s Twitter account is authentic and verified by the company. Despite Twitter’s best efforts, some users view the blue check mark as a sort of status symbol.

  1. More Freedom to Speak Out

In a message he shared on his Twitter account on Monday, Musk said, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter because that is what free speech means.”

However, despite the guaranteed democratic freedom to rant or speak out, Twitter has always been used as a manipulation tool by various governments and groups. Especially in recent years, with the widespread use of bot and troll accounts, there is also a lot of discussion about fake trends created on Twitter. And like any other private publisher, Twitter controls what’s published on its platform. But the popular micro-blogging service governs itself even more relaxed compared to many other tech companies.

  1. Paid Content and Video Access

And even before Musk took over the reins at Twitter, the company has been broaching the idea of entertaining more paid content and even paid access to more followers on the platform.

The paid feature, Super Follows, for example, has a payment option, that allows Twitter users to charge their followers for access to more material including allowing membership in a group for the community, a newsletter subscription, and a badge displaying your support. According to Twitter, this functionality will enable publishers and artists to get direct payments from their customers.

And according to a report from The Washington Post, Twitter’s team is also currently exploring a new paywalled video approach, which would enable creators and publishers to charge a fee to let people watch the long-form video in the app.

  1. An Edit Button for All

While talks for an edit button have been circulating for years even before Musk had even thought of buying Twitter, the functionality is only available to those with Twitter Blue subscriptions.

A free edit button would be excellent news for Twitter’s community, after all, many of the platform’s most avid users had been crying out for years for such a feature. When it finally launched last month, many were disappointed to learn that it came with a monthly subscription.

With big changes coming, removing the edit button from Twitter Blue and giving it to everyone looks like it could really happen. Twitter’s edit button lets you make a change to a tweet within 30 minutes of sending it. Edited tweets display a pencil icon to let others know that the original post was altered after being posted. For transparency, edited tweets also include a version history that lets anyone view the changes that have been made.

  1. Integration with X the Super App

With all the changes that Musk is planning for Twitter, we can only imagine what direction it will have in the future and that is for X — the everything app the tech genius has been blabbering about on the first day of buying the platform.

“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” Musk tweeted in his first public confirmation of the proposal. Musk added that his acquisition of Twitter “probably accelerates X by 3 to 5 years, but I could be wrong.”

Earlier in the process of acquiring Twitter, Musk opened up to employees his interest in creating a “super app,” a notion that has gained widespread adoption in China with services like WeChat but hasn’t yet found an American counterpart. For all these changes the tech billionaire visualizes how Twitter will grow in the coming years, we can only hope it brings an improved experience to all its users.


Read More Stories: Adidas Drops Partnership with Kanye West

Categories:
JM Agreda
JM Agreda
JM Agreda is a freelance journalist for more than 12 years writing for numerous international publications, research journals, and news websites. He mainly covers business, tech, transportation, and political news for Businessner.

Trending articles