Elon Musk has completed his takeover of Twitter, and he has lofty plans for this platform. In the short time he has been at the helm of the platform he has promised things like a new verification system, a revamped subscription program and better creator monetization.
Musk has a knack for announcing these features on a whim through Twitter. But it’s hard to know in what form and when they would make their way to the public release. So here is a handy list of things Musk has announced that’s coming to Twitter.
- After taking over Twitter, the first product change Musk announced was revamping the verification system. Days later, he posted more details that included new features for Twitter Blue paid plan. Musk said the new system will cost $8 per month and have fewer ads, priority in replies (something which verified handles get through the “Verified” notification channel), mentions and search, and the ability to post longer videos. At this moment, paid users can post 10-minute videos and other users have a time limit of two minutes and 20 seconds on videos. The company has already been experimenting with things like moving the verified notification tab to appear as the default screen in the notification screen. (November 1, 2022)
- While the new Twitter Blue plan will cost $8 in the U.S., Musk has said that he will adjust the pricing for different regions according to purchasing power parity. In a reply to a user, he also said that revamped subscriptions will roll out to India by the end of the month. This means Twitter will soon expand Twitter Blue beyond existing markets — the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. (November 1, 2022). In a new tweet on November 9, Musk said Twitter Blue will expand to more countries “as soon as next week. (November 9, 2022)
- Musk has the Twitter Blue team working on a better video experience, too. He said that with the new paid plan, users will be able to upload 42 minutes of video at 1080p resolution. The Tesla CEO said that the platform is working on removing the 42-minute limit as well. (November 6, 2022).
- The new Twitter CEO said that the company is working on attaching long text to tweets. This announcement is strange, as the platform debuted Notes, its program for long-form content, in June. Under this test, a set of writers from the U.S., Canada, Ghana and the U.K. got access to tools to write long posts. A Twitter employee, who was part of a mass layoff at the company, pointed out that Musk fired the team who built and shipped the Notes feature. (November 6, 2022).
- Earlier this month, Twitter ended its partnerships with publishers to provide an ad-free experience for Twitter Blue subscribers. And within hours after emails went to these publishers, Musk said that he wants to build a “paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us.” (November 1, 2022)
- Investor Jason Calacanis, who is part of Musk’s core team, said that the Twitter team is focused on working with TweetDeck and might deliver a new product by the end of the month. The above-mentioned former Tweep noted that the mass layoffs have also affected the TweetDeck team. So it might be tough to ship a finished product so soon.
- While Twitter’s new verification is all about giving “power to people,” Musk specified there will be a secondary tag on the profile to identify public figures like politicians. App researcher Nima Owji posted a preview of this badge earlier this month. (November 2, 2022)
- The Twitter CEO said that the platform’s search reminds him of “Infoseek in ’98” and wants to fix the experience. But we don’t know what improvements to expect.
- In his short tenure as the head of the social network, Musk has promised to implement better payouts for creators. In a reply to YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), he claimed that Twitter can become an S-tier (Super tier) network. In another tweet, the SpaceX CEO said that he can beat YouTube’s 55% ad-revenue share rate with creators. But that revenue might not be significant if major ad spenders don’t splash big bucks on the platform. (November 6, 2022)
Trust and saftey
Apart from announcing a ton of product changes, Twitter’s new head is also making some critical policy decisions. However, it’s unclear when these rules will come into effect and how they will play with various international laws.
- Just after taking charge of Twitter, Musk said that the company will form a content moderation council that will have people sharing diverse sets of views. At this moment, there is no clarity about who will participate in this council, how many members it might have, and what kind of powers it might wield. Notably, Twitter already has a Trust & Safety Council consisting of more than 100 organizations, but members are not sure if there is a future for them.
- After a ton of accounts changed their account name and details like profile photo and bio to mimic Musk, the billionaire said that Twitter Blue users won’t be allowed to impersonate anyone unless they specify that it is a parody account. He noted that accounts violating will be permanently suspended.
- He added that any change in name would result in accounts losing the verification mark temporarily. Currently, there are no written rules about this, so we don’t know how it will work in practice and what guidelines parody accounts might have to follow.
- Musk has also promised to make changes to Birdwatch, Twitter’s crowdsourced fact-checking program. But he has only said that it will be renamed to “Community Notes” — and Jack Dorsey didn’t like it.
- The SpaceX CEO laid out details of Twitter as a payment platform during a Space held with advertisers. Musk said that the company plans to introduce features like person-to-person payments and letting users extract their funds to authenticated bank accounts. (November 9, 2022).
What has been implemented
- Twitter rolled out “Official” checkmarks briefly before Musk “killed it”. These checkmarks had a very short life but the company’s product manager Esther Crawford clarified that the grey “Official” labels are “still going out” as a part of the new Twitter Blue product that started rolling out. (November 9).
All these changes have very aggressive deadlines, so it won’t be surprising if we don’t see these changes being rolled out in the promised time frame. We will keep this piece updated to track these promises. All of these feature rollouts have big caveats, as Musk notes in the tweet below:
Do you know what’s going on at Twitter? You can contact this reporter on Signal and WhatsApp at +91 816-951-8403 or firstname.lastname@example.org by email.