Twitter is set to receive yet more changes in what the platform’s owner Elon Musk calls “the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over.” To us? It looks like someone is feeling the pinch.
The incoming changes involve removing the ‘old’ blue verified check marks, conditions for a user’s tweets appearing in the ‘For You’ recommendation feed, and voting in polls on the platform.
The push for more Twitter Blue subs
The first change we mentioned, was announced on 24 March. You may remember, after taking ownership of the company last year, Musk started tinkering. The ‘verified’ checkmark system received numerous changes after being disabled and reenabled a bunch.
In the before times, blue checkmarks were reserved for notable people or official company accounts. Now, we’ve got colour-coded checkmarks for different kinds of accounts and regular, unremarkable people can pay R145/m via the web or $11/m (around R200/m) through the iOS or Google Play Store for a Twitter Blue subscription and their very own blue ‘verified’ badge, along with other ‘features’.
But the oldies that were notable before Musk took over and haven’t coughed up the dough for a Twitter Blue sub, will have their blue checkmarks removed come 1 April. This neatly ties into more features being locked behind a paywall.
Starting April 15th, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations.
The is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle.
Voting in polls will require verification for same reason.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2023
From 15 April, only verified accounts (either those that are recognised by the platform or those that pay for it) will have their accounts or tweets recommended in the ‘For You’ feed to other users. And if you like voting in polls but don’t subscribe to Blue, then it sucks to be you. That’s locked behind the Blue paywall too.
Since Musk’s takeover, things have been looking bleaker. The platform is beginning to look more like an elite country club rather than the ‘public town square’ Musk described it as before he took control.