After what can certainly be described as a turbulent few months for the platform – with the changing of ownership seemingly being complete, subsequently falling through, but still happening regardless – Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter is finally complete. As tends to frequently be the case when everyone’s favourite billionaire (and internet personality?) gets involved, major changes were instantly made. Whether Musk’s new directives will elevate Twitter to new heights or end up turning the platform into a free-speech warzone remains yet to be seen; what we do know, however, is that Twitter as we know it, may not be the same ever again.
Staff Reshuffles and Unrest
As soon as walking through the front door of Twitter headquarters, Musk started making changes. These changes were primarily in the form of lay-offs with a reported 25% of the Twitter workforce having either already been fired, or to be fired in the coming days. As a rough estimate, 25% of the Twitter workforce would equate to about 2000 employees. While this is undoubtedly a huge development, Musk is also currently in the process of further stamping his authority by firing many of the executives and higher-ups within the corporation – the people responsible for much of the platform’s direction over the last few years.
The removal of these staff members no doubt represents Musk’s desire to completely revamp the platform as well as his displeasure at the state in which he has received it.
Having tried to pull out of the purchase on account of misleading figures regarding the number of fake accounts on Twitter, Musk no doubt now wants to recoup as much of his purchase as possible. Even though we are only in the early days of his tenure, Twitter is already playing with the idea of making verification a paid feature. While not implemented especially well at the moment, the blue tick of verification intends to identify Twitter users who have a substantial following or are a credible source of information within certain fields. By putting this feature behind a paywall, you lose a portion of this demographic instead encouraging those with spending power to be seen as the ‘leaders’ within the platform.
Growing capital will no doubt be one of the main areas of focus for Twitter in the near future and we anticipate that a new assortment of ad types will be introduced with attention paid monetisation of services in order to generate an ongoing revenue model.
In a blog written in late April, when Musk’s interest turned into a genuine bid, we detail some of the changes we expect to see on the platform in the coming months/years. These include;
- Reversal of bans – something we’re already seeing happen, Musk’s idea of Twitter is that of a free speech platform and one where people can express their ideals without constraint. Some high-profile individuals who have seen bans are already seeing their accounts be reinstated and we can expect this to happen with most or all of the users who have been blacklisted over the years.
- User verification – as mentioned above, bots are a big problem with Twitter and Musk will likely look to implement some form of verification as identity proof in order to clamp down on these accounts.
- Edit button – In early April Musk created a poll on his own personal Twitter on the subject of adding an edit button. The overwhelming majority (over 73% of those who participated) voted in favour of adding editing features to the platform. Even though this is still a highly debated topic, it looks like we might see the addition of an edit button in the near future.
The New Age of Twitter
Regular updates and innovation are what keep a social platform popular with the mass consumer base. Twitter has somewhat stagnated on these grounds in recent years and whereas other platforms have adapted to cater to businesses and e-commerce, Twitter’s attempts at doing so have been very much half-hearted. As someone who is known for his love of innovation and – at times – outlandish ideas, there is likely no better person to try and spark some life into Twitter than Elon Musk. We’re very excited to see what the future holds for one of the world’s largest social media platforms.
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