The change made by Elon Musk to Twitter’s verification system is one of several controversial changes the social media platform has made in a year.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
It’s been a year since Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, officially bought Twitter for $44 billion (€41 billion) on October 27, 2022.
It was a dramatic deal that the self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” attempted to renege on before being forced to complete it amid a court case.
If we talk about the purchase of social media platforms, it was a period of turmoil for Twitter.
Summarizing Musk’s first year in charge of what is now called Have seen it happen.” And the less valuable, the less useful”.
Twitter was the breaking news platform where people went to find out what was going on in the world in real time.
Verification means that accounts with blue ticks were vetted by humans and were given verification based on Twitter’s then-current assessment of who was “notable”.
But most importantly, users can trust that verified accounts are who they said they are thanks to identity verification.
It’s all over with Musk’s
This isn’t the only major change that has come, but it’s one that has had far-reaching consequences for the platform’s users, credibility – and balance sheet.
Twitter becomes X, ‘everything app’
In July this year, Twitter was rebranded as “X” with plans to create an “everything app”. This meant, according to then-newly installed CEO Linda Yaccarino, that it would become “the future state of limitless interactivity – centered across audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services and opportunities”. .
Many analysts were deeply skeptical of it at the time – and that hasn’t changed.
Navara explains that “all apps”, such as WeChat, “were born out of a very specific set of circumstances and factors in the unique market conditions in China” where it was created.
He says this is unrealistic in Europe or the US due to competition and monopoly rules, not to mention the fact that people are wary of keeping all their sensitive data in one place.
“Especially with a company that’s led by Elon Musk, when everything we see and hear right now about that person is negative, worrying, and worrying, and a platform that’s not being respected for its sustainability and terms. The case is unstable at best. Also about its safety,” he explained.
advertisers are running away
Advertisers have left the platform in large numbers, with many becoming wary of brand safety issues due to drastic staff cuts in the platform’s trust and security teams.
Musk himself tweeted in June that advertising revenue was down nearly 50 percent, with the company struggling with “negative cash flow.”
Navara said, “I think the areas that have been destroyed now, especially around security, have not helped in terms of relationships with advertisers.”
“And now they’ve got a situation where they’re trying to convince advertisers that it’s safe and they should advertise there, but then they’re resistant to it, mostly because Brand Is”.
Navara says their customers are assessing whether the benefits they can get from using the platform outweigh the “increased risks and reduced functionality in some areas.”
Global companies they have worked with are “actively reviewing their presence and continued use of the platform”, while a large number have already stopped their advertising there.
The future of X in Europe
Since its acquisition, Musk’s Ax has been clashing with regulators, especially in Europe.
Navara points out that advertisers aren’t the only ones concerned, with “fewer guardrails and protections” to manage and control the more “toxic and risky content” spreading on platforms.
“It is possible, I should say, to attract the attention of European regulators”.
Earlier this month EU digital rights chief Thierry Breton gave Ax 24 hours to explain how the platform would meet the bloc’s new digital rules, with independent monitoring groups criticizing the platform for its role in the Israel-Hamas conflict. Had warned about giving wrong information about.
Musk took Twitter out of the EU’s anti-disinformation code in May, but has since confirmed that the platform will comply with any laws passed in Europe.
Regulators in the US are also seeking a court order to force Musk to testify in the investigation into the Twitter purchase.
From poo to poo emoji
Musk is often seen making new policies and features without thinking and claims that he will take decisions based on the election results.
At the end of a survey they published, more than 10 million accounts voted for him to step down as CEO.
Now he has done so after Yaccarino’s appointment, but at other times he has ignored poll results he was not a fan of.
Another strange change that journalists immediately noticed was the auto-response to any email to Twitter’s press email address – a single poo emoji.
There is no alternative to breaking news platform Twitter
The turmoil at Twitter has led to huge demand for alternatives from frustrated users and several companies have staked their claim.
Bluesky, which has Twitter founder Jack Dorsey on its board, is a very close imitator of the platform, and it is building its user base by adding only a few new users at a time through waiting lists and invite codes.
Navara says it’s Facebook parent company’s app Threads, though it’s “the most obvious place where people want to see an alternative to X that maintains that level of distribution.”
In its first five days, Threads gained more than 100 million users – but its user base has reportedly been declining.
Even though it may compete with
That’s because he “doesn’t want the headache” associated with meta content moderation and political manipulation that has plagued Twitter and X, Navarra explained.
While Threads is “probably your best bet” to replace X, for Navara “there’s still a big question mark over whether it can ever achieve the scale and relevance that X had”.