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Elon Musk’s “Interesting” Ideas for Twitter

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Elon Musk’s interesting ideas for Twitter. Credit: Daniel Oberhaus / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY 4.0

Elon Musk projected a new series of interesting ideas for Twitter, the social media platform. Musk recently acquired Twitter for forty-four billion dollars. In the last few days, Twitter has seen an exodus of advertisers and executives, and Musk fired the executive board.

It is not clear how many employees have quit and how many were in the process of being let go, but it seems Musk is on track to fire, just as a start, twenty-five percent of Twitter’s employees.

If we observe closely, Musk has freely proposed ideas in an open forum on Twitter and has found his own thoughts “interesting” and liked them.

Firing Employees, Raising Fees

One new idea Musk proposed is an eight dollar monthly fee for those who desire a blue tick by their name. This confirms a verified account. He said this is essential to combat bots, spam, and scams. A blue tick by a user’s name usually suggests a high-profile person. Often, they are wealthy or celebrities. Musk does not think the cost is excessive. Critics argue the blue tick system can actually make it harder to identify reliable sources.

Musk’s Interesting Ideas for Twitter: Giving Power to the People?

Musk reminds paid users would have priority in replies and searches and half as many advertisements. He argues charging this fee for a blue tick actually will give “power to the people” in contrast to the old system which was distinguished by “lords and peasants.”

While in the past there were no fees for a blue tick, just an application, twitter used to focus on protecting the identity of politicians, entertainers, and journalists. It seems Musk’s new system allows people to buy into celebrity status. Twitter introduced the blue tick system in 2009 after the company was sued for not doing enough to contain imposter accounts.

Critics of Musk argue that while he says he wishes to reduce advertising on the site, Twitter seems to be adding advertising at the moment. Twitter hasn’t turned a profit in years. Is this peculiar for a company that is the subject of such a large purchase price?

Turning Twitter Around

General Motors, a rival of Musk’s Tesla, used to advertise on Twitter. Now, it has chosen to suspend its advertising account.

On Monday, one of the world’s biggest advertising companies, IPG, advised its clients to suspend Twitter ads for a week, citing a need for more clarity on Twitter’s plans to ensure “trust and safety” on the platform. IPG does business with some of the world’s most significant brands to handle their marketing budgets.

The charge for blue tick privileges drew skepticism after original reports that said the charge could be as much as twenty dollars (£18) monthly.

Twitter Blue Includes Some Verifications But Not Others

Twitter currently offers a subscription called “Twitter Blue.” It permits a certain set of users who subscribe to test new features before they are released to other users. The subscription—which doesn’t include blue-check verification at this time—charges $4.99 a month.

“Twitter Blue” ironically allows subscribers to say something blue (indecent), and walk it back, by deleting it thirty minutes after posting.

Stephen King Speaks Out: Twitter Should Pay Me

Many on the platform echoed the statement of author Stephen King, famed for his thriller and horror novels, who wrote in response to reports of changes that instead Twitter “should pay me.”

Musk, who is worth 224 billion dollars, wrote to Mr. King saying: “We need to pay the bills somehow!” He is now the chief executive of three companies: SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter.

Mr. Musk is Clever: He Finds His Own Ideas Interesting

Musk can be a crafty fellow. As he floated the idea out there about paying for account verification, Musk worked with a venture capitalist who tweeted a poll inquiring how much money people would be willing to pay. Musk, whose account is verified, replied: “Interesting.”


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