Twitter users will need a “verified account” to get recommended on the platform’s For You page starting on April 15th, according to a Monday evening tweet from CEO Elon Musk. Given that Twitter has promised to start dismantling the “legacy” verified system at the beginning of April, that appears to mean that you’ll have to be a company, government entity, or Twitter Blue subscriber if you want to pop into the feeds of people who don’t follow you, The Verge reported.
Here is what Elon Musk tweeted:
“Starting April 15th, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations.
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 the same reason.”
The Verge reported: It’s worth taking this announcement with a big grain of salt, as Musk’s tweets haven’t always turned into enforced policy or features. Perhaps the biggest example is his promise from February that the company was going to start sharing ad revenue with Blue subscribers, something that’s still MIA almost two months later. That same month, he also promised to open-source the company’s algorithm by March 5th, which hasn’t happened yet – though now he says it will happen on March 31st, without acknowledging the previous missed deadline.
TechCrunch reported Twitter has been trying to promote the “For You” timeline for a while now, despite negative opinions from many users. The move to make it a verified-only algorithmic feed won’t be a popular decision either.
Notably, analysts suggest that Twitter has only 385,000 paying users at the moment. Plus the company is removing legacy verification checkmarks of previously notable accounts on April 1. So the algorithmic feed will be filled by paid accounts in addition to brands and officials’ accounts making it for a very skewed timeline, according to TechCrunch.
TechCrunch also reported that this development comes days after GitHub took down Twitter’s leaked source code. What’s more, Musk promised to open source the social network’s recommendation algorithm on March 31. TechCrunch noted: We’ll have to wait and see if the code has references to limiting it to only verified users.
BuzzFeed News reported that Elon Musk announced that starting April 15, only Twitter Blue subscribers will appear in the For You feed. According to Musk’s tweet on Monday, the measure is to stop AI bots. Additionally, only verified users can vote in polls.
According to BuzzFeed News, this comes a few days after Twitter announced that legacy verified accounts will lose their blue checkmark starting April 1st unless they sign up for paid Twitter Blue. At the same time, Twitter is working on a way for paid subscribers to hide their blue checks, presumably because it might seem embarrassing to have one if all it means is that you’ve paid for it.
BuzzFeed News also wrote: Regular, unpaid accounts will presumably only be visible in the Following feed, the chronological feed of only the people you follow – basically, what Twitter used to be.
Overall, I feel as though Twitter has become very chaotic after Elon Musk took over. He appears to desperately want to monetize the platform, which has been free to use for most of Twitter’s existence. These haphazard decisions could influence people to stop using Twitter and switch to a Mastodon account.