What modifications has Elon Musk made at Twitter and what would possibly he do subsequent?

What modifications has Elon Musk made at Twitter and what would possibly he do subsequent?

Elon Musk’s method to managing Twitter since shopping for it has been as unpredictable as his timeline on the social media platform.

The world’s richest man has axed employees, floated a change to consumer verification and is reportedly contemplating numerous strikes that will characterize a widespread overhaul of the service if carried out. Listed here are the largest modifications he has made up to now or is contemplating enacting.

Job cuts

Twitter started sackings amongst its 7,500-strong workforce on Friday, amid experiences that Musk plans to fireplace about 50% of them. An e-mail to employees stated: “In an effort to position Twitter on a wholesome path, we are going to undergo the tough technique of decreasing our international workforce on Friday.”

Musk raised just below $13bn (£11.6bn) of debt to assist fund the acquisition of an organization that misplaced $221m final 12 months. Its new curiosity invoice will likely be about $1bn a 12 months, so he wants to chop prices and push up annual revenues that reached $5.1bn in 2021.

Parag Agrawal, the previous chief govt of Twitter. {Photograph}: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Photographs

Govt clearout

Musk is now the sole director of Twitter after dissolving the board, together with the chair, Bret Taylor, and sacking numerous executives as quickly as he took over the enterprise final week. The firings included the chief govt, Parag Agrawal, the chief monetary officer, Ned Segal, and the pinnacle of authorized, coverage and belief, Vijaya Gadde. Because the de facto CEO, Musk has introduced in a crew of associates to assist him run the enterprise, together with his private lawyer, Alex Spiro, and his tech buyers Jason Calacanis and David Sacks.

Adjustments to verification

Accounts of public curiosity on Twitter carry a blue tick subsequent to their title, confirming that they’re who they are saying they’re; Musk has signalled that he’s about to cost customers for that privilege. Greater than 230 million folks tweet day by day and about 420,000 of them have a tick subsequent to their title.

On Tuesday, Musk indicated that verification will value $8 a month as a part of an overhaul of the platform’s premium service, Twitter Blue. He tweeted: “Twitter’s present lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Energy to the folks! Blue for $8/month.”

The New York Occasions has reported that the new-look Twitter Blue will likely be launched within the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (the one international locations the place Twitter Blue is offered presently) on 7 November, and that for an interim interval blue tick holders won’t lose their image even when they don’t pay – though ultimately they’ll in the event that they don’t stump up the cash.

Content material moderation and account reinstatement plans

Musk has promised there will likely be no modifications to content material insurance policies, or reinstatements of banned accounts reminiscent of Donald Trump’s, till a newly introduced content material moderation council is convened. He has stated it’s going to take at the very least “just a few extra weeks” for a brand new course of overseeing account reinstatements to be put in place.

Twitter has additionally stated it has been topic to a coordinated trolling assault for the reason that takeover, by which vexatious accounts tried to offer the impression that the positioning had develop into a hate speech free-for-all. The corporate’s head of security and integrity stated the platform had been bombarded with hateful content material – at the very least 50,000 tweets – from 300 accounts.

Completely different tiers

Musk has floated the concept of splitting Twitter into completely different strands of content material. He steered that customers choose which model of Twitter they need, within the type of selecting a movie primarily based on its content material score. He additionally backed a consumer’s suggestion that the service splits into completely different video game-style modes, together with a “participant versus participant” model, the place verified accounts can maintain Twitter spats. A consumer may assign a score to their posts, which might then be modified by “consumer suggestions”, which feels like a Wikipedia-style method to moderation.

Bringing again Vine?

Musk launched a ballot on Monday, asking customers if he ought to convey again Vine, the app sharing six-second-long movies seen as a precursor to TikTok however shut by Twitter in 2016. The consequence, after nearly 5m votes, was 70% in favour. Nonetheless, the app’s code has not been up to date since 2016 and platforms reminiscent of TikTok and YouTube characterize formidable opposition.

Charging for video content material

Musk can also be reportedly contemplating charging for video content material. The characteristic would concerned letting folks publish movies and charging customers to see them, with Twitter taking a lower. Nonetheless, the plan has been flagged internally as high-risk, based on the Washington Put up, which cited a memo flagging “copyrighted content material, creator/consumer belief points, and authorized compliance”.

The tech information web site the Verge reported in August that Twitter, below its earlier management, had thought-about letting grownup content material accounts promote OnlyFans-style subscriptions on the platform. Nonetheless, the venture foundered on issues that Twitter wouldn’t have the ability to police the service correctly for unlawful materials reminiscent of baby sexual abuse, the Verge reported.

Bringing in Tesla coders

The Twitter overhaul is being guided partly by a crew of software program engineers and specialists at Tesla. Greater than 50 staff from Musk’s electrical carmaker have been joined at Twitter by two from his tunnelling agency, the Boring Firm, and one from his mind implant enterprise, Neuralink, based on CNBC. The information organisation reported that Tesla employees have been reviewing code at Twitter, as Musk pushes by way of his overhaul plans.

Packets of Cheerios, a brand owned by General Mills, are seen in a store in Manhattan, New York, US in 2021
Normal Mills, which is the corporate behind the cereal Cheerios, is suspending promoting on Twitter. {Photograph}: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Placating advertisers

There’s one change that Musk is eager to forestall: an exodus of advertisers. On condition that advertisements account for 90% of the corporate’s income, the Tesla CEO must preserve them onside whereas he tries to spice up revenue by way of different initiatives. To that finish, he despatched a message to advertisers because the takeover was being finalised, saying he wouldn’t let the positioning develop into a hotbed of hate speech.

“Twitter clearly can not develop into a free-for-all hellscape, the place something could be stated with no penalties,” he stated. Advertisers have, nonetheless, gone on pause. Normal Mills, the corporate behind the Cheerios and Fortunate Charms cereals, stated it could droop promoting on Twitter, becoming a member of the automotive corporations Normal Motors and Audi in monitoring modifications on the firm earlier than deciding whether or not to renew. The pharmaceutical firm Pfizer has reportedly paused its promoting, too.

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