Twitter switches to a paid service model next month, neutering unpaid accounts

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circuitbored
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Twitter switches to a paid service model next month, neutering unpaid accounts

Post by circuitbored » Tue Mar 28, 2023 6:33 pm

Elon Musk just announced that the old system of Twitter verification will go away on April 1st, 2023... And that all accounts that don't pay his (relatively new) 8 dollar a month subscription fee will be invisible on Twitter's main information feed (killing general public visibility of non-paying accounts). I have, and never will pay Twitter for a user account, as it offers no guaranteed value to me as a creator... I create content for Twitter, it exists because of content creators, and call me radical, but I firmly believe that apps of this kind should be paying creators for what they contribute, NOT the other way around. Twitter does not help people to make profit despite profiting greatly off of people (despite the company being profitable or not of course, budgeting is their personal issue). Some personalities on Twitter have found ways to profit off of popularity they already may have, but it is by no means something that Twitter helps unpopular people with with nor creates for anyone unless they pay... That's why them charging for the work of their users on top of the advertising revenue they receive (user posts and visibility are often Twitter commodities) without then paying users for every post is quite unreasonable (to me at least).

Make no mistake. The guy who has around 768 Billion dollars in net worth wants profit, and the move to buy Twitter will squeeze whatever it can get out of the platform until it is either a lean profit making machine, or a dry and dead social mega-mall... My bets are on the latter aspect happening, but in today's world, where everyone is eager to grab the microphone (talent or not), you never know how a debacle of this kind will end up. I have no patience for posting on a site that makes me invisible though, so this may well be the straw that breaks the camel's back for me and many others in posting to Twitter if this nonsensical change holds up...

I once liked Twitter a lot for it's simplicity of function, despite never really figuring out how to make it work well for me, until recently. it had been a place where I could go and post my minute-to-minute shower thoughts, post funny jokes, post my own music, to post youtube and other social links I wanted to save, and where I could go to see whatever was happening in real time. Being able to do the aforementioned things made it valuable and worth dealing with yet another log in and password to remember. Fast forward to around 2016, the service slowly started to remove the value in all of the features I used it for, and also began to manipulate the visibility of my posts even to people that followed me until the account simply stopped growing at all... I figured that was no big deal, as I had been using Twitter since 2009 and had little success in growing followers. Then after the 2016 election, really unusual things started happening...

After the election, Twitter took a wild swing towards being a political news site, I regularly started observing politics flooding out trending lists and even seeing posts by people I did not choose to follow invading my own timeline.It seemed like politics were set to take over the platform until the January 6th capitol raid (undoubtedly driven primarily by Twitter and Facebook posts) and the subsequent banning of our (then) President (Donald J. Trump) from Twitter, it seemed as if Twitter may return to normal... They of course didn't. Even Kanye West went of the deep end of the attention seeking spectrum with some really nutty, irresponsible, and nonsensical posts. Now that the guy who made electric cars popular (Elon Musk) has taken over the company and site, a lot has changed, even Donald J Trump was encouraged to return as his suspension was lifted, "Why?" you ask?... Money. is the answer... The move demonstrates the quest for profit despite consequences, it's a hallmark of the times we live in, where even already individuals often want to see their bank balances soar so that they can stay above everyone else, and that is a huge disqualifier for people we should elect and support to lead in my opinion.

To add fuel to my argument, just look at what's been done to Twitter in the past few months... It's been turned into even more of a tool of public manipulation, as Elon Musk has announced he is disabling verification for previously notable accounts, and making the blue verification mark a feature that can simply be bought for $8 a month (as a subscription service). That's it, no process of verifying who is who, literally just a financial barrier to being credible on Twitter... It's wild as a new development... The site literally does not care who posts truth or not now (even though the verification process prior was convoluted and over-complex) it just cares who pays to post. This price will undoubtedly go up as people get more dependent of having the status and access that the payment gets them. On the other hand, this conversion to a paid subscription business model not only further destroys reliability of information on Twitter, it also destroys a lot of why people used the service to begin with. Now trends and posts are flooded with ads and items boosted by ad payments... Moderation is quite weak, and trending topics are often corrupted by spam to the point where it's regularly hard to tell why a topic is trending.

All the problems aside, my major gripe is that Twitter (after ages of being a free and equally distributed public information service) is now being converted into a closed/paid service that supports primarily the most popular members of society, and therein the value, utility, and functionality of the app, for a person such as me (who will never pay for it on basic principle) has become totally useless. I highly recommend that everyone evaluates how the platform changes that have been made now dramatically change the reliability of information and totally affects what is seen on the platform to guide how seriously you take it all, because even news agency, basing public trends and issues may suffer from the new imbalanced community of news that Twitter has created in it's quest for monetizing social interaction.

If you look at the past few years of how Twitter has changed, it likely won't be missed by everyone in contrast to the torturous experience of using the app. The value of the app and company has already fallen by 50% at the time of posting this opinion piece. Support business that puts users first, not founder ego, and not a ROI for investors as well. Despite the dark periods of missing what Twitter used to be, it will always be brighter than supporting the dark future of what Twitter (And many other manipulative social apps) has/have now become.

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