Is Twitter changing to a paid social channel?
Twitter was once a platform renowned for authenticity, for in-the-moment sharing and live journalism, where experts, celebrities and the everyday Joe Bloggs could meet without the need for message-filtering middlemen.
However, since Musk’s takeover, sweeping policy changes suggest that the everyday user is never going to tweet as loudly as a blue tweeter. As Twitter Blue has relaunched (making $11m in 3 months) it has been announced that mostly tweets from blue tick users will be featured on the main ‘For You’ page from April - which raises questions about censorship and controlling the content users have access to on the channel 👀
Changing the algorithm of Twitter
With the new main feed only set to primarily show ‘blue tick users’, Musk states this is “the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over.” But could this be a way of Musk pushing brands, reporters and the average Twitter user to purchase the new blue tick verification? With only 350,000 Twitter users paying for this at the moment, it may create a skewed newsfeed experience for people who predominantly follow non-verified accounts currently.
So from April the 15th what will Twitter look like? You’ll still be able to view tweets from accounts you follow in the ‘Following’ tab, but in areas such ‘Trending’, the visibility of the non-subscribers’ accounts will be limited - turning your ‘For You’ feed into a very one-sided discussion, in relation to political and world events, with content coming from those who pay to play.
Musk’s thoughts on organic social media
Musk’s view is reportedly that “paid social media is the only social that matters”, which raises questions about the importance of authenticity and equality within the platform.
At the other end of the spectrum, latest figures from the Top Apps Worldwide Q1 2023 report show the most downloaded social channel was TikTok (with Twitter not even making an appearance) which also came out top of customer spend. TikTok is a platform in which 64% of creators can ‘be themselves’ and has retained an authentic feel throughout their recent updates, a lesson which perhaps Musk could afford to learn.