What you need to know
- Elon Musk has announced new changes to the Twitter Blue subscription.
- Only verified users will be able to participate in polls and appear in the For You tab as recommendations.
- Musk says the changes are to help combat AI bots on the platform.
New changes are coming to the Twitter app as Elon Musk prepares to put more features behind a paywall. In a tweet on Monday, the billionaire announced that users would need to be verified in order to vote in polls. He also stated that only verified users would show up in the For You tab as recommendations and that these changes would occur starting on April 15.
Of course, this means you must be subscribed to Twitter Blue to access these features. It's a curious move to put such a basic and widely-used feature like polls behind a paywall, which will soon join other features like editing Tweets, an expanded character limit, and more. However, Musk states that the move, along with only allowing verified users in the For You timeline, will help combat bots on the platform.
Musk stated in a Tweet that this is “the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over.”
Starting April 15th, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations.The 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.March 27, 2023
The For You tab is what Twitter calls its algorithmic timeline that shows tweets both from accounts users follow and those the app recommends, meaning you'll likely see Tweets from accounts you don't follow. With the change, it seems these recommended accounts will soon only be from those that are verified.
Twitter bots were a big motivation behind Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter in 2022. Musk believed that the platform had more bots than it was leading on in earnings reports and was determined to address it as he believed they “make the product much worse.”
However, his follow-up to Monday's Tweet suggests he's not completely against the idea of bots on the platform, so long as they are verified and adhere to Twitter's terms of service.
That said, it’s ok to have verified bot accounts if they follow terms of service & don’t impersonate a humanMarch 28, 2023
It's likely that these moves are meant to encourage more users to subscribe to Twitter Blue. The change comes just after Twitter announced that it would phase out legacy verified checkmarks starting April 1. Users that want to keep their checkmarks would have to subscribe to the Blue subscription, which is also now available globally.