In the year since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, the platform has seen some radical changes, some of which have led to user discontent. Musk’s push to convert Twitter’s non-paying users into customers has extended to TweetDeck, a move that has concerned many of the platform’s patrons. As per a statement from Twitter Support on July 3, unverified users will lose access to TweetDeck in 30 days, which was mentioned at the end of an announcement of a new version of the feature. This new version introduces “full composer functionality,” including the ability to handle Spaces, polls, and video docking. Moreover, over the weekend, Musk announced temporary daily limits to the number of posts each user can view. Initially, the limits were set at 6,000 posts a day for verified accounts and 600 for unverified accounts. According to Musk, these limitations are being implemented to prevent data scraping by AI companies. However, these numbers were later increased to 10,000 and 1,000, respectively. CEO Linda Yaccarino backed these changes, stating, “When you have a mission like Twitter — you need to make big moves to keep strengthening the platform. This work is meaningful and ongoing,” mirroring a company statement that the new restrictions are aimed at ensuring the “authenticity of our user base.”
Twitter’s Disgruntled User Base
The response from Twitter users to these changes has been less than enthusiastic. Critics argue that these changes, along with technical glitches, increased instances of bots, and reduced advertising, are signs of the platform’s decline. Notably, there has been an apparent rise in hate speech, anti-Semitism, and racism since Musk lifted the ban on all previously banned accounts. These changes have forced both new and traditional media outlets to subscribe to different plans to bypass limitations on the information they can publish and retain their users’ reach. Independent journalism, in particular, struggles to compete with the budgets allocated by media giants for social networks and advertising. This competition leads to fewer voices being represented on Twitter, causing concern among users. These factors have led to some users migrating to other platforms, such as Truth Social, a social network established by Donald Trump after his Twitter account was banned during Jack Dorsey’s tenure as CEO.
Enter Zuckerberg’s Threads: A New Competitor
In the wake of Twitter’s turbulence, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the launch of a new application, Threads, set for release on July 6. As users seek a platform without reading limits, technical issues, or bots, Threads is seen as a potential competitor to Twitter. However, this move is not merely an altruistic gesture by Zuckerberg. Threads require users to share an extensive array of personal information, including financial and contact information, internet browsing history, purchases, location data, and sensitive information.
In the end, users will gravitate towards platforms where they feel comfortable, can stay informed, and be entertained. Both mainstream and independent media will inevitably follow their audience. Amidst all this, the rivalry between the billionaires continues to intensify as they vie to provide a superior platform. In this landscape, user experience and privacy concerns will be critical factors for the platforms to ensure user retention and growth.
The Voice of the Users
Despite the power these billionaires wield, the ultimate decision lies in the hands of the users. Where they go, the media — mainstream or independent — follows. Platforms must thus strive to balance monetization with user experience and trust. Twitter users are clear in their demands: a platform that welcomes them without reading limits, technical issues, or an excessive number of bots. They also want a space where independent journalism can thrive, free from the economic interests of media giants. If Twitter or Threads — or another yet unknown platform — can provide this, they may win the loyalty of these users.
In conclusion, the competition for social media dominance is far from over. The decisions made now will shape the future of online interactions and discussions. As users continue to voice their discontent, it is crucial for platforms to listen and adapt. Whether Twitter can rebound from its current turbulence or whether Threads will rise to dominance, only time will tell. Meanwhile, keep an eye on this space for further updates on the evolving landscape of social media.
As Twitter grapples with user discontent and increased competition, the tech industry keeps moving with news of the Apple Watch Ultra’s launch being shifted.