It’s been five months since Twitter fell into the hands of Elon Musk, and it’s been an exciting ride. We’re here to dive into what’s happened in the past months and where the platform could be heading for the rest of this year.
What’s Up with Twitter Blue?
All hell broke loose when the $8/month paid subscription was first introduced on Twitter. Impersonators took advantage of the blue checkmark to publish tweets to look like they were from the actual company, inevitably causing chaos. Just days after Twitter Blue was introduced, the platform killed it again.
But not for long. Twitter Blue was resurrected from the dead and is still in place today. For $8/month, subscribers can edit their tweets, write tweets up to 4,000 characters, have their replies appear above others in threads, and access even more features.
One difference from the first rollout of Twitter Blue is that the blue checkmark will not appear right after subscribing. Accounts will still be reviewed to “ensure subscribed accounts meet all eligibility criteria” before the checkmark appears.
Lastly, account security is no longer free under Musk’s reign. To use two-factor authentication (like getting a code texted to you when you sign in), users must subscribe to Twitter Blue. There are other ways to authenticate your account if you don’t pay, but they aren’t convenient by any means.
Losing the Big Bucks
With all the changes happening on the platform and the rise in hate speech (we’ll talk about that in a sec), advertisers are taking their money and running.
According to Reuters, more than 500 big-name advertisers have paused spending money on advertising on Twitter. On January 17 of this year, the company’s revenue was reportedly 40% lower than the same day the year before. Yikes.
Twitter also reversed its ban on political ads, which could be why many advertisers are leaving. Especially with a big presidential election coming up next year, companies might be hesitant to exist on a platform with the potential for intense controversy and hostile rhetoric.
The Rise of the Gold Checkmark
Twitter Blue for Businesses now exists for companies that are sticking it out and keeping Twitter in their social media strategy. They still have to pay the monthly subscription but receive a gold checkmark and a square profile picture rather than a round one.
This acts as a safety measure to ensure real companies can be told apart from any impersonators. Definitely a good move on Twitter’s part to keep any incidents like the one with Eli Lilly from happening again.
Increase in Hate Speech
In Elon Musk’s mission to protect free speech, he has restored over 60,000 accounts with more than 10,000 followers each. These accounts had previously been banned for hate speech. Many of these accounts reportedly belong to neo-Nazi and QAnon individuals.
From the time Musk took over until December 2022, there was a 200% increase in anti-Black slurs, researchers told the New York Times.
The Road Ahead
So far, no other platform has stepped up to the plate to take the place of Twitter. It remains the top platform for news and current events, and many businesses still utilize it in their social media strategies. Now only time will tell if Twitter survives.
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