Elon Musk has completed his takeover of Twitter, and he has lofty plans for this platform. In the short time, he has been at the helm of the platform he has promised things like a new verification system, revamped subscription program, and better creator monetization.
Musk has a knack for announcing these features on a whim through Twitter. But it’s hard to know in what form and when they would make their way to the public release. So here is a handy list of things Musk has announced that’s coming to Twitter:
After taking over Twitter, the first product change Musk announced was revamping the verification system. Days later, he posted more details that included new features for Twitter Blue paid plan. Musk said the new system will cost $8 per month and have fewer ads, priority in replies (something which verified handles get through the “Verified” notification channel), mentions and search, and the ability to post longer videos. At this moment, paid users can post 10-minute long videos and other users have a time limit of two minutes and 20 seconds on videos. The company has already been experimenting with things like moving the verified notification tab to appear as the default screen in the notification screen.
While the new Twitter Blue plan will cost $8 in the U.S., Musk has said that he will adjust the pricing for different regions according to purchasing power parity. In a reply to a user, he also said that revamped subscription will roll out to India by the end of the month. This means Twitter will soon expand Twitter Blue beyond existing markets — the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Musk has already got the Twitter Blue team working on a better video experience, too. He said that with the new paid plan, users will be able to upload 42 minutes of video at 1080p resolution. The Tesla CEO said that the platform is working on removing the 42-minute limit as well.
The new Twitter CEO said that the company is working on attaching long text to the tweet. This announcement is strange as the platform debuted Notes, its program for long-form content, in June. Under this test, a set of writers from the U.S., Canada, Ghana, and the UK got access to tools to write long posts. A Twitter employee, who was part of a mass layoff at the company, pointed out that Musk fired the team who built and shipped the Notes feature.
The Twitter CEO said that the platform’s search reminds him of “Infoseek in ’98” and wants to fix the experience. But we don’t know what improvements to expect.
Search within Twitter reminds me of Infoseek in ‘98! That will also get a lot better pronto.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 5, 2022
In his short tenure as the head of the social network, Musk has promised to implement better payouts for creators. In a reply to YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), he claimed that Twitter can become an S-tier (Super tier) network. In another tweet, the SpaceX CEO said that he can beat YouTube’s 55% ad-revenue share rate with creators. But that revenue might not be significant if major ad spenders don’t splash big bucks on the platform.
Trust and Saftey
Apart from announcing a ton of product changes, Twitter’s new head is also making some critical policy decisions. However, it’s unclear when these rules will come into effect and how they will play with various international laws.
Just after taking charge of Twitter, Musk said that the company will form a content moderation council that will have people sharing diverse sets of views. At this moment, there is no clarity about who will participate in this council, how many members it might have, and what kind of powers it might wield. Notably, Twitter already has a Trust & Safety Council consisting of more than 100 organizations, but members are not sure if there is a future for them.
After a ton of accounts changed their account name and details like profile photo and bio to mimic Musk, the billionaire said that Twitter Blue users won’t be allowed to impersonate anyone unless they specify that it is a parody account. He noted that accounts violating will be permanently suspended.
He added that any change in name would result in accounts losing the verification mark temporarily. Currently, there are no written rules about this, so we don’t know how it will work in practice and what guidelines parody accounts might have to follow.
Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2022
Musk has also promised to make changes to Birdwatch, Twitter’s crowdsourced fact-checking program. But he has only said that it will be renamed to “Community Notes” — and Jack Dorsey didn’t like it.
All these changes have very aggressive deadlines so it won’t be surprising if we don’t see these changes being rolled out in the promised timeframe. We will keep this piece updated to track these promises.