Tuesday 4th of July 2023

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Let's dig into the updates to Twitter since Elon Musk's takeover in October 2022 and how they could affect your business.

Blue Tick, Gold Tick, Grey Tick
Account verification has undergone a series of trial and error updates. Musk's decision to link the Blue Tick to account subscriptions backfired when impersonators and fake accounts took advantage of the system. To combat this Twitter has implemented a range of account labels including Blue, Golden and Grey Ticks. Here are the current meanings of each colour:

Blue - any account that has purchased the Twitter Blue subscription.
Golden - a business account that has been verified as legitimate and pays a monthly subscription fee.
Grey - accounts belonging to government officials/organisations.

These separations are useful to know as a business to ensure your Twitter account is recognised as trustworthy. It is worth noting that the Gold Tick subscription is currently sitting at £1,140 per month. The community of smaller businesses have shared their hopes that this price will be rethought because it seems a bit steep for a bit of extra support and what is essentially...a sticker.

For you
2023 has already seen a big change to the core design of Twitter. Where users would previously have been greeted with content from their followed accounts, they are now shown an algorithmic feed made up of accounts they do not know. Similar to TikTok, this change is designed to introduce you to recommended content and can also expand creators' reach.
This could cause your current audience to miss out on your content unless they habitually check their 'Following' feed. On the other hand, it may open up communications with a wider audience which is something to consider when creating your marketing campaigns.

My lists
In what seems like an odd decision considering the recent focus on content recommendations, Twitter has added the ability to create lists of your favourite creators, allowing for prioritisation and categorisation of your followed accounts. These lists are available to view as individualised timelines and can be pinned to the top of your homepage.
From a marketing point of view, adding your business account to their favourites list could be something to push your audience towards in an attempt to boost performance.

Axed API
In more technical news, Musk announced that he was shutting down access to Twitter's free API service. With little warning, access was due to stop on 9th February but was pushed back a few days due to developmental delays. Despite resistance from developers in the community, the free API was finally shut down in April.

While the initial reason for the change was to 'rid the platform of bots', this update did not seem to take into account the services that rely on the free API to share important information such as automatic severe weather warnings that can save lives.

If your business used the free API to pull through your tweets to your website the tool will no longer work. Tools such as Hootsuite are likely to already pay for their API but smaller applications have been announcing closures. Make sure to check with your developer and marketing team for peace of mind.

Layout Rework
With all these changes, it's understandable that the platform would need a layout change. To make the previously mentioned 'Following', 'For You' and 'Lists' feeds accessible, tabs have been added to the homepage. While this does make accessing them easier, some people think it is unnecessary crowding that makes the homepage less visually appealing and not very user-friendly.

Layout changes on social media mean users need to be aware of how their audience will view their content, this applies to businesses too. Adapting your content keeps you relevant.

Without a doubt, all these changes have caused a great disturbance in the online world. People worldwide have been waiting with bated breath to see what else Musk has in store, and it seems he's passing the reins to a new CEO.

On the 12th of May, it was announced that Linda Yaccarinoit has been given the role of Twitter CEO. While Musk may be limiting his input in the day-to-day workings of the platform, we think it's safe to assume that we have more amendments and features yet to come.

Login Required
If you have been using the platform to keep up to date with your favourite topics but have done so without an account, you'll have been sorry to learn that tweets are no longer available for public browsing.

With no real reason provided, Twitter has hidden its user's content behind a login wall. There are theories suggesting it is another tactic to boost sign-ups but given the response to most of the recent updates, we can't see it paying off if that's the case.

Reading Limits
On July 1st, Musk announced that a limit would be introduced immediately for all users on the platform to cope with a recent data scraping problem. As such, verified users are now only able to see 10,000 tweets per day with unverified users restricted to 1,000.

While this change is said to be temporary, there are major concerns about the overall effect it will have on the user base. Especially after MEta stated they are moving up the release of their competing app "Threads by Instagram" to the 6th of July.

Considering the chaotic way this implementation has been handled, it comes as no surprise there are many users out there that are unhappy, leading to #RIPTwitter being among its own trending topics. Advertisers are also suffering from reduced reach because of the restrictions placed on their audiences.
We'll have to wait and see if the community will stick around with so many controversial changes being thrown their way or if Threads (or something else) will replace the platform completely.

If you have any questions about any of the points we've touched on in this article, contact the Finesse team and we'd be glad to offer you help and advice!


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