Elon Musk confirms Twitter has a HUGE change coming on April 15 – and it’s bad news if you don’t want to pay £11/month
- Users who aren’t paying for Twitter Blue soon won’t even be able to vote in polls
- Musk has already moved features over to Twitter Blue to get people to subscribe
- Blue ticks will be removed from ‘legacy’ Twitter accounts starting next month
Billionaire Elon Musk is further cutting the amount of features that Twitter users can access on the platform for free.
From April 15, users who do not pay for Twitter Blue – which costs £11/month for Android and iOS – will no longer be able to vote in polls, Musk has said.
They also will no longer have their tweets appear in the ‘For You’ tab, which shows popular tweets that are boosted by an algorithm.
Musk said the changes will stop ‘AI bot swarms taking over’ the site, although he stopped short of explaining exactly how.
The CEO – who purchased the social media network in October – said that paid social media will be ‘the only social media that matters’.
Musk said the changes are ‘the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over’
If you want to be able to vote in polls on Twitter after April 15, you’ll have to subscribe to Twitter Blue, which starts from £9.60 per month
‘Starting April 15th, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations,’ said Musk in a tweet.
Twitter Blue’s exclusive features
From April 15
– Tweets appear in For You
– Vote in polls
– SMS two-factor authentication
– Edit Tweet
– Bookmark Folders
– NFT Profile Pictures
…and many more
‘[This] is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle.
‘Voting in polls will require verification for same reason.’
Jake Moore, tech expert and security advisor at ESET, challenged Musk’s suggestion that the decision is anything to do with removing Twitter bots.
‘This isn’t just a response to AI bots swarming the site, this is a response to the company haemorrhaging money,’ Moore told MailOnline.
‘Musk has obliterated the company and is now looking at removing features from unpaid accounts.’
Twitter introduced polls back in 2015 as a fun way to weigh in on various topics, while the For You tab was introduced at the start of this year.
For You – the same name as a feature on TikTok – shows tweets from accounts that users do and don’t follow, all out of order and boosted by an algorithm.
It provides an alternative to the ‘Following’ tab, which shows tweets from accounts users follow in reverse chronological order, with those most-recently posted at the top.
Voting in polls and appearing in the For You tab are the latest Twitter features to make the transition from the free version of Twitter to Twitter Blue, the paid version.
Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk (pictured) bought the social media site for $44 billion back in October 2022
Earlier this month, Musk removed SMS two-factor authentication (2FA) from the free version – a decision Moore called ‘absurd’ that will lead to ‘so many accounts hacked’.
Twitter will officially start removing ‘legacy’ verified check marks on April 1 – READ MORE
Twitter says it will start removing blue ticks from users who do not pay for them on April 1
2FA sends an SMS message containing a code to users’ smartphone, which they have to enter to access their account, as an extra layer of security.
In the UK, Twitter Blue costs £9.60 per month for desktop and £11 for iOS and Android and adds a blue tick next to a user’s name, among other features.
The blue tick was previously a free feature granted to ‘active, notable and authentic’ accounts of people such as politicians, celebrities and journalists.
But Musk now wants the meaning of the blue tick to be an indicator that the account ‘has an active subscription’ and is not a bot account.
In effect, all it does it indicate that an account holder is shelling out a monthly fee for the privilege.
After months of delays, Twitter will finally remove blue ticks from accounts that aren’t paying starting from next month, Musk recently confirmed.
Twitter’s official Verified account follows a list of people who still have these ‘legacy’ ticks, possibly so Twitter staff can work through the list and remove them from their accounts.
MailOnline contacted Twitter for comment in an email – but the company’s communications department is now just sending the pile of poo emoji in reply to any queries.
Elon Musk laid off Twitter’s communications department after he purchased the company in October. Now, press are getting sent a poo emoji in response to any requests (file photo)
Musk has rolled out new gold and grey ticks to indicate verified businesses and government bodies, respectively – and is charging £1,000 per month for them.
Twitter Blue does also include access to new features that have never been accessible on the unpaid version.
Examples include custom app icons, the ability to undo a tweet immediately after posting it, and, for subscribers in certain countries, the ability to edit tweets.
It also includes the ability to post tweets with a whopping 4,000 characters, as opposed to just 280 like on the unpaid version.
Elon Musk splits Twitter into two tabs – ‘For You’ and ‘Following’
In January, Twitter’s user experience received a drastic redesign. The site is now split into two separate tabs – called ‘For You’ and ‘Following’.
For You – the same name as a feature on TikTok – shows tweets from accounts users do and don’t follow, all out of order and boosted by an algorithm.
Meanwhile, the ‘Following’ tab shows tweets from accounts users follow in reverse chronological order, with those most-recently posted at the top.
Twitter users can now click or swipe between the two tabs, depending on how they want to see tweets.
Twitter users automatically land on the ‘For You’ tab on the homepage when they open the app, although they can swipe the screen to opt for the ‘Following’ tab, which shows tweets the old-fashioned way – from accounts followed in reverse chronological order, with those most-recently posted at the top
Twitter used to be a fairly simple site – you’d follow accounts and then you’d see their tweets.
But the For You tab shows tweets from people that you don’t even follow.
What’s more, For You is now the default tab, meaning it will automatically be selected when users open the app.
This will still happen even if they were on the Following tab when they last closed the app.
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