Since the fanfare Twitter takeover by billionaire Elon Musk in a $44 billion deal, it has been a roller coaster of drama with firings, feature launches, operational changes and more.
In just two weeks, Twitter has debuted and killed off more features on its platform than some platforms have been able to put together in a calendar year. That's not to mention one of the biggest layoffs so far in 2022 and several administrative readjustments that the company has undergone in just these past two weeks.
Here are what you might have missed.
Twitter filed registration paperwork with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) that would allow it to process payments, conduct money transfers, and exchange currency or cash checks. Users would be able to send money to others on the platform, extract their funds to authenticated bank accounts and, later, perhaps, be offered a high-yield money market account to encourage them to move their cash to Twitter.
Twitter Blue Subscription
Twitter finally rolled out its $8 Twitter blue subscription feature, after it tested the feature on Saturday, but later rolled it back, delaying its launch till after the US midterm elections. This feature allows subscribers who paid the monthly fee some additional perks namely the verified blue checkmark previously reserved for only verified accounts and other in-app functions like fewer ads content, priority in mention and search and posting longer videos which aren't available yet.
Following the launch, several newly verified accounts changed names to impersonate celebrities and public figures, including Musk himself, tweeting supposedly impersonated tweets which caused a lot of confusion among Twitter users. Twitter then put up a countermeasure to stop these impersonations in a new permanent ban policy, with Elon musk tweeting that accounts impersonating other accounts without explicitly stating that it's a parody account will be permanently banned.
Double verification tag
Twitter's verification scene got even more confusing on Wednesday when the social media website briefly began attaching an "Official" grey label to some major accounts, including those belonging to celebrities, large publications and politicians but got "killed" according to a tweet by Elon Musk in just less than 24 hours.
The platform announced it is building a video paywall feature, that will let creators set up paywalled video posts, allowing them to choose from a preset list of prices such as $1, $2, $5, or $10 for users to pay. The paywall feature is aimed at letting creators build an independent business around content creation.
Users will soon be able to attach long-form text to tweet instead of posting screenshots of notepads.
Elon musk gave Twitter engineers an ultimatum to rebuild and relaunch Vine, a short video platform similar to TikTok that was acquired by the microblogging platform in 2012 for a reported $30 million but was discontinued in 2016. This are just a few highlights of Elon Musk's promises, others include; better search experience, a new tweet-deck app, a better creator monetization on Twitter. He has even engaged in talks of putting the entire platform behind a paywall. With a lot of back and forth and indecisiveness from Twitter's Elon musk in his effort to make the platform sustainable and "free-for all", maybe we should cut him some slack since he already mentioned that "Twitter will be making a lot of dumb moves in the coming months, and will keep what works and change what doesn't."
What else is happening at Twitter?
- Twitter has planned changes to its content moderation policies, hate speeches and bringing back users previously booted off the platform, is raising a lot of dust with regulators and activists, with many responses condemning the move that may fail to curtail hate speech and misinformation on the platform. It is also noteworthy to remember that Elon had engineered the layoff of some of Twitter's content moderation team amidst its global employee cut that happened last week.
- In other news, top Twitter executives have stepped down. Information security Chief Officer Lea Kissner said they had made the "hard decision" to leave the company. Chief Privacy Officer Damien Kieran, Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty and Yoel Roth, Twitter's Head of Integrity and Safety, also quit. This is enough to hint the current internal turmoil within Twitter and the displeasure with Elon Musk's new directives at Twitter.
- Also some advertisers including General Motors, Audi, Pfizer, and Volkswagen have paused advertisements on Twitter amidst confusion about the platform’s policy changes causing Twitter to lose out on sizeable ads revenue.
- Elon Musk also addressed employees for the first time this week, saying that he could not rule out bankruptcy for the company, according to multiple reports.
Will Elon Musk run Twitter to the ground with his very radical moves? Or will he turn the social media platform around?
We'll be watching and waiting to see what happens...