Twitter verification: The pause, unpause, uncertainty
It’s Monday, so I’m going to try to keep the Elon Musk/Twitter updates to a minimum, but there’s… a lot.
Let’s start with the Twitter verification uproar.
As expected, Elon’s plan to sell blue checkmarks, which no longer signify verification (as there is no form of ID checking in the updated process), has led to a raft of people impersonating prominent identities and brands in the app.
This is what everyone said would happen. Musk pushed ahead with it anyway, explaining that it would be ‘the great leveler’ in enabling everyone to get a blue checkmark – not just celebrities and politicians.
The Twitter ‘verification’ pause
By Friday, the impersonation issue grew into a maelstrom of misinformation and market cap drops for major players while users abused the feature. Twitter on Friday paused the $8 Twitter Blue offering in order to re-assess the process – and then brought it back again over the weekend.
“But how will we know who’s official and who’s not?” – A valid question echoed by all twitter users.
After flip-flopping on the subject, Twitter has reintroduced the “Official” gray verification badge for high-profile accounts like brands and celebrities, according to the Twitter Support account. If only there was a verification system in place that signaled to users the legitimacy of an account… Oh wait.
Blue verification aside, Twitter users are reporting bugs, errors, and other inconsistencies surfacing in the app. With staff reduced, could it be that Twitter is buckling under the pressure and nobody is at the helm to maintain it? Here’s how an engineer says Twitter will break in the coming week.
So why is Elon so desperate to push ahead with half-baked plans so quickly?
Because he needs the money.
Spooking investment funds
At an all-staff meeting last week, Musk told Twitter’s remaining employees that they can no longer work from home, which had been a long-standing policy at the company. He also informed them that the business may well go bankrupt soon.
Twitter was reportedly losing $4 million per day when Musk took over, which is why he’s moved so quickly on staff cuts and on pushing out something – anything – to generate money. But the suggestion that Twitter could actually collapse has spooked many banks and investment funds that have backed the Musk takeover deal, with some now looking to distance themselves from the business as fast as they can.
Definitely seems like it’ll need some next-level Mars colonization thinking to right the ship. We’ll keep you posted.
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