Posted Dec 9 2022 at 02:21 PMUpdated Dec 11. 2022 at 13:19
Little by little, the Twitter sauce Elon Musk begins to take shape. After reauthorizing Donald Trump on the platform and laying off half of the workforce, the billionaire continues to clean up on “his” social network. This time the changes are about users: around 1.5 billion inactive Twitter accounts will soon be deleted, Elon Musk tweeted on Friday.
“These deletions are self-evident for accounts that haven’t tweeted or logged in for years,” he explained. This deletion will free up nicknames and names for potential new users. But this measure is also a gesture aimed at advertisers.
Twitter will soon start freeing the name space of 1.5 billion accounts
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
In the wake of the takeover by Musk, many groups (Volkswagen, General Mills, Pfizer, Mondelez, etc.) interrupted their investments on Twitter. Many fear that the platform will become even more toxic, with the Tesla boss defending a fairly absolute view of freedom of expression. Elon Musk himself recently acknowledged that Twitter was seeing “a massive drop” in revenue. However, even if Twitter is a small player in the digital advertising market (1% of the total), it still provides 90% of its income.
In this context, deleting inactive accounts may improve the audience measurement of said advertisements. In any case, this is a long-standing fight for Elon Musk. During the incredible soap opera of the takeover, the billionaire had already accused Twitter of inflating its audience and of not sufficiently hunting bots, these robots which post “tweets” automatically.
Another measure for advertisers: within the week, a new tool will prevent advertisements from appearing next to tweets containing certain potentially problematic keywords, according to Reuters. For example, it could be racist or offensive words. According to the agency, Twitter would also consider reinstating moderators rather than resorting to specialized companies, which would make it possible to better moderate content in languages other than English.
A new Twitter Blue Monday
However, Elon Musk also wants to emancipate Twitter from advertising, by generating additional revenue. For this, the billionaire also remodels Twitter Blue. This paid product was launched in 2021 (i.e. before the takeover) first in Canada and Australia, then in the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, to offer additional services – such as the possibility of classifying tweets in folders or a “read” mode…
From now on, Twitter Blue will also integrate the famous “badges” which were previously free and made it possible to authenticate the accounts of politicians, journalists… Three badges (blue for individuals, gold for companies and gray for politicians) will see the day. After much delay, the new Twitter Blue will be available this Monday for $8 a month on the Web and $11 on iPhone, the group said in a tweet on Saturday.
Finally, Twitter is working on a feature that will allow users to know if they have been victims of “shadow banning”, tweeted Elon Musk. This moderation technique, widely used by social networks, consists of temporarily “erasing” certain accounts, without however deleting them. It is often a punishment, when an account uses bots for example to have a high number of “likes” or “retweets”, to the point that it becomes suspicious… For Musk, the “twittos” will have to have a remedy to challenge this practice.