Twitter’s Transformation: Exploring Elon Musk’s Changes


As Twitter’s new owner, Musk has ushered in many changes. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Twitter has planned to phase out its old verification program starting in April, with the infamous blue check mark only being applied to certain accounts. They have launched “Twitter Blue,” a paid subscription service that offers access to the blue check and early access to select features. 

Beyond the blue check mark, the service offers subscribers a way to enhance and customize their Twitter experience. One of the highly requested features is the “edit tweet” addition, where users will be able to have a 30-minute window after posting a tweet to make updates, tag someone, reorder media and other additions to the platform. The cost of this service is $8/month or $84/year on the web. 

In launching this service, Twitter has reworked the criteria to achieve the blue checkmark and, in the process, has stripped the legitimacy of having it. Musk claims that the old system was corrupt and that too many accounts had it. Previously there were over 420,000 accounts with the check mark. After Musk took over the company, he changed the wording on verified accounts to say “may or may not be verified.” As he proposed this new service, he stripped the blue check mark from notable accounts like The New York Times, contradicting his initial plan to maintain the verification status of the 10,000 most followed accounts, regardless of what they paid. 

Outlets like The New York Times have stated that they will not pay a monthly fee to achieve the status on Twitter. This move highlights the tension between Musk and U.S. journalists, who have been known to criticize him. Numerous other news media companies, such as The Washington Post, have felt similar tensions. Now the wording on verified accounts says the following message: “verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account.”

Celebrities like LeBron James have tweeted back at this new service, claiming they will not pay for the verification. If currently verified accounts do not opt into the service, on April 20, 2023 legacy check marks will be officially removed from all accounts that currently possess them. 

Twitter has named NPR on the platform as a “U.S.-state-affiliated media,” yet they do not meet Twitter’s own definition of a state-affiliated account. As a result, NPR has announced that they will no longer be posting to their 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major organization to boycott the platform by going silent.

Going forward, Twitter’s changes to the platform project a new era for the app under Elon Musk. He is changing the experience and wants the app to become a platform for everything including potential options to complete payments, read news and order food. It has been six months since he bought the platform and he remains extremely ambitious. Right now, there are a lot of bold ideas for a company known as a social media outlet. Many users could leave the app in fear of the changes he will make, but there would be an extreme loss within social media without a strong presence on the platform. There are a lot of unknowns about what will happen, but if anything, Elon Musk will do as much as he can to transform his new app.