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A Random Twitter Update – Recent Changes to the Platform

Categories: 
Author
samuelstapp
Published
June 6, 2023

Twitter right now is kind of like that one freeway you drive on that’s always under construction. No matter how much work is being done, it’s hard to see an end in sight. And a lot has happened on Twitter since our last update.

Some of these updates might actually seem like good features, while others seem like an attempt to stay relevant (or make money). One thing is for sure: changes to Twitter will not be stopping anytime soon. Early last month, Elon Musk, current CEO of Twitter, announced that Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s former advertising chief, would be Twitter’s new CEO, while he would focus on product development. This gives Musk plenty of extra time to concoct new additions to the app.

But for the meantime, there’s plenty of change to talk about. Read on for all the latest features and news surrounding the ever-evolving platform:

Video Updates

Musk has been talking about bolstering Twitter’s video content for quite some time now, and the first few updates to support this goal have already been implemented.

One of the more significant updates was giving Twitter Blue subscribers the ability to upload videos up to two hours long on the app. For reference, free users can only upload videos up to 140 seconds long. This seems like an amazing feature, but time will tell if it’s incentivizing enough for users to subscribe to Twitter Blue, which is an $8 per month subscription. Back in December, Twitter added hour-long uploads for Twitter Blue, and since then, only about 0.3% of Twitter users have subscribed to the exclusive service.

Other features that Twitter has implemented in an attempt to match other video-sharing platforms are video playback speed and picture-in-picture video playback (meaning you can keep watching a video while scrolling through the app). This means that you can watch clumsy cat videos and read up on celebrity feuds at the same time!

API Access

It seems as if Musk can’t decide what he wants to do with the Twitter application programming interface (API). At first, Twitter announced that they would be cutting off all access to the API (which used to be completely free). This caused an uproar, so Musk changed his mind and instead offered tiered access to the API, where each tier gives different capabilities.

Naturally, this also caused an uproar (taking away something that once was free will do that) because this meant that third-party platforms like Sprout Social and Agorapulse would be paying a large fee to maintain their Twitter connection. A few apps have already fallen at the hand of the API restriction, including Twitteriffic and Tweetbot.

As of right now, these are the current access tiers that Twitter has in place:

DM Updates

One of Musk’s major initiatives with Twitter has involved improving security for its users. Seems like a worthy mission for a platform that has been exploited in the past. This goal has resulted in Twitter launching encrypted direct messages. Or at least, trying to launch direct messages. 

Here’s what Musk tweeted when encrypted messages were released:

Seems like something you wouldn’t want to hear when launching a security measure! Encrypted direct messages would ensure that users have full privacy control over their DMs and won’t have to worry about info being shared with Twitter. Here’s the predictable catch: only verified users can encrypt their DMs. Shoulda seen it coming.

Advertising Updates

Incentive to subscribe to Twitter Blue seems to be a theme for a lot of these updates. As of April 21, running ads on Twitter is now a feature only available to paying users, or those who are verified by other means. 

Here’s the official notice that pop-ups on the Twitter ads dashboard:

This update might mean nothing for those already exceeding $1,000 in ad spend, but it means extra costs for those who rely on Twitter for advertising.

Other Notable Updates:

  • Twitter Blue subscribers can now post tweets up to 10k characters-long.
  • Users can now direct respond to messages in DMs and react with more emoji options.
  • Real-time stock displays will appear when searching a stock-aligned hashtag

While these new changes might be exciting to some, a new study shows that 25% of users don’t see themselves using Twitter 12 months from now. Will any of these new updates entice users to stay with the iconic app, or will more tweeters start to jump ship? 

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