Elon Musk’s Twitter appears to be entering a new phase of changes and unrest, as the social media platform announced major alterations to its algorithms after a week of mostly bad news.
This week, Musk announced Twitter will only show verified accounts on its “For You” timeline, in an apparent attempt to combat bots. The change means only users with paid-for accounts will be recommended by the Twitter algorithm, along with brands and government officials. To make matters worse for current verified users, anyone with a blue tick who isn’t subscribed to the paid version of the social media platform will lose their verification on April 1.
Musk claimed this was the “only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over.” He also said that only verified users would be able to take part in polls as well.
The “For You” timeline has come under fire by Twitter users for some time, but the company seems determined to promote it regardless. Analysts have suggested that only 385,000 users pay for Twitter right now.
The news comes during another turbulent period for the social media platform and just days after an internal memo from Musk suggested the value of Twitter had more than halved since he bought the company six months ago.
Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, and in a leaked email to staff said it was now worth $20 billion, based on stock grants he offered to employees. Investment firm Fidelity has also written down the value of its stake in the company by 56%.
Also this week, Twitter revealed that some of its source code has been released online, and that it was taking legal action over the matter. The company is demanding that GitHub, the code-sharing service, identifies who released the source code onto its platform. GitHub has already taken the code down but Twitter is demanding to know who put it there.