On April 4, the world woke up to some breaking news that Elon Musk had become Twitter’s largest single shareholder after purchasing enough stock from the Company. After submitting his regulatory filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the outspoken entrepreneur and respected tech mogul broke the news. The filing report did confirm the purchase of the 9.2 percent of Twitter shares which took place on March 14, which means the filing was submitted ten days late. As Elon continued to trend the entire week, speculation continues to be high about the changes he will bring to the Company after he tweeted on March 24, asking his fans if Twitter has adhered to the principle of accessible communication. He wanted feedback because he plans to join the Twitter board (he has since retracted this statement), and these figures were important.
Here are five ways Elon Musk may change Twitter Forever. From the last meeting where Twitter was releasing its latest financial result, the numbers reported were overshadowed by comments from senior staff of the Company. According to Business Insider Africa, during the meeting, Interim Chief Executive and co-founder member of Twitter Jack Dorsey confirm that Twitter needs to make tangible changes that users can enjoy its features and initiative since the application has remained with features which are difficult to use for long. This acknowledgment remarks from a man who holds the top position in the Company raised some serious concerns about what changes can help the company challenge other competitive applications to capture more users. If implemented by Elon Musk, these changes could bring positive changes and impact Twitter.
1. Improving Twitter Look
Earlier this month, Twitter had removed the feature in the application that enables users to edit their profile wallpaper. Users began complaining about the platform that they are experiencing challenges changing their profile background, which turns off to white. Twitter responded by confirming that only a small list of pre-approved backgrounds was affected by the change. They claim the screen looked messy, and users could only be allowed to make changes only on their profiles. But still, Twitter’s background hasn’t been looking great compared to other social platforms like Facebook or Instagram. This change might improve the platform since Twitter, for a long time, hasn’t established which aspect of its page is the most important.
2. Help Twitter Stretch
Musk needs to help Twitter stretch. This platform has been known to be a favorite platform for influencers, journalists, political leaders, and celebrities. According to the Washington Post, majority of regular social users prefer not to use it. When this platform was launched, it was stated that it would be a forum where users could have a forum for analysis, do promotions, hold debates and express themselves. This platform has never outgrown and moved from these roles. Therefore, changes need to be made to bring in new partnerships that could bring new missions to enable it to become more influential and popular to attract regular folks who are no longer turned off by Twitter’s moderation of content and its lack of freedom of speech. It doesn’t help that the platform deleted a President of the United States’ account yet leaves the leader of the Taliban free to use the platform. Changes are necessary.
3. Hashtag Algorithm
Hashtags are organic, unique, and the best thing Twitter created. It has enabled users across the globe to join in the hot topic conversation happening globally within a single click. However, there are sensitive things within the platform when you type out the number in letters or digits. When you confuse the two, it is enough for the platform to throw you out of the hashtag conversation in some cases. Twitter appears to be smart enough when it comes to group tweets when users are using the exact keywords together. In some instances, hashtags with numbers can be confusing. It would be best if Twitter could tighten this algorithm. Musk raised this point when he conducted a poll on how Twitter can change society. He wanted to find out if the Twitter algorithm should be changed to be an “open source,” a software term that means distributed freely or let openly be manipulated by different contributors to a debate. It sounds technical, but it leans towards Musk’s expression on free speech.
4. Adding an Edit Button
For the longest time, many Twitter users have been requesting the platform to make changes and include an edit button to the site to help them make changes when they make a mistake. After announcing that he purchased more shares on Twitter for over 80 million followers, the first question during the poll that he launched was about the edit button, which hasn’t been addressed for long. He also shared this sentiment with other million Twitter users. The majority of his supporters overwhelmingly were in agreement with the idea for Twitter to finally make this change. Notably, Twitter has responded to the outcry by stating that it has been working on that functionality for some time. When the poll closed, over 4.4 million users had taken part, and 73.6 percent voted for the addition of the button.
5. Loosening Content Moderation
On many occasions, Elon Musk has tweeted, referring to Twitter as the “de facto public town square ” of the new modern era in a digital public forum. According to the Street, Elon showed support to former US President Donald Trump after Twitter banned him permanently from using this site. This move of Elon advocating for free speech on the platform will rattle many people as millions are already super unhappy. Based on his tweet, he sounds like he will push that agenda for Twitter to adopt looser moderation. Recently, Elon demonstrated his sentiment during a forum at his satellite internet startup, Starlink, where he disapproved of the request by some government officials to approve the blockage of news broadcasts coming from Russia. Keep shaking it up, Musk.
As Elon Musk plans to take an active role in the board management at Twitter, the Company faces a lot of pressure to introduce new products. Based on the poll he conducted about changes which the applications users would want. It appears he will use the results to push for those changes and improve the brand to target new users and businesses to carry their promotion and make Twitter competitive again like the other socials.