Elon Musk, Twitter add more features behind Blue paywall

Main Ideas:

  • Elon Musk has announced new changes to the Twitter Blue subscription.
  • Only verified users will be able to participate in polls and appear in the For You tab as recommendations.
  • Musk says the changes are to help combat AI bots on the platform.

Elon Musk has announced via Twitter that new changes are coming to the Twitter app, with additional features being placed behind a paywall. To vote in polls, users will need to be verified, according to the billionaire. Starting on April 15, only verified users will appear in the For You tab as recommendations. Access to these features will require a subscription to Twitter Blue. This move is interesting, as it places a common and widely used feature like polls behind a paywall, which will soon be joined by other features such as expanded character limits and tweet editing. Musk believes that limiting the For You timeline to verified users and requiring verification to vote in polls will assist in combating platform bots. He stated that this is “the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over.”

Twitter’s For You tab is an algorithmic timeline that displays tweets from both followed accounts and app-recommended accounts, resulting in the display of tweets from un-followed accounts. It appears that with the upcoming alteration, the suggested accounts will solely be from verified users.

In 2022, Twitter bots were a significant factor in Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform. Musk thought that the earnings reports didn’t accurately reflect the number of bots on the platform and was committed to addressing the issue since he felt they “make the product much worse.”

However, Musk’s subsequent tweet following Monday’s announcement implies that he isn’t entirely opposed to the notion of bots on the platform, as long as they are verified and comply with Twitter’s terms of service.

The motive behind these actions is likely to promote the adoption of Twitter Blue among users. Following the announcement that Twitter will eliminate legacy verified checkmarks starting from April 1, it seems probable that these measures are part of the company’s strategy to encourage more users to subscribe to Twitter Blue. If users wish to maintain their checkmarks, they must now enroll in the Blue subscription service, which is now available worldwide.

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