From a blue bird to X: Elon Musk outlines every Twitter change over the last 9 months
The most notable change is that Twitter is now called X, but what else has happened?
Elon Musk took over Twitter nine months ago, and to say it’s been a tumultuous takeover is an understatement.
But if you’ve ever wondered how many changes Elon has made to the platform since he ‘let that sink in’ back in November 2022, a new blog post by X CEO Linda Yaccarion outlines everything the team has implemented. Here are some of the highlights.
In November, one of the most controversial changes took place. Twitter removed legacy verification and turned it into a subscription model. This caused countless headaches as bad actors made fake accounts, and a new verification method had to be introduced for businesses and government officials.
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In December, Twitter Blue relaunched, allowing users to upload 10-minute and then – a few weeks later – 60-minute videos. A view count feature was also introduced, allowing users to see the amount of engagement tweets were receiving. The Community Notes feature, which helps tackle misinformation, was rolled out worldwide, too.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: every Twitter change
👀 A new blog post outlines every change that Twitter has undergone since Elon Musk took over
🙅♂️ The most obvious one is that Twitter is now called X
🆕 Countless features have been introduced in the last nine months
🤞 Musk has promised more changes are on the way
January saw the “Home” and “Latest” tabs change to “For You” and “Following”, and February saw the launch of an appeals process for accounts that were suspended previously. Blue subscribers could also write long-form posts of up to 4,000 characters, and the ad revenue share program for creators was launched.
In March, users could see the total number of times a post had been bookmarked, text messages were introduced as a two-factor authentication method for Blue subscribers, and Twitter’s algorithm was made open-sourced, ushering in a new era of transparency.
April introduced a new creator subscription program (previously named ‘Super Follows’) and legacy verified checkmarks lost their ticks. While May saw the launch of voice memos in direct messages, the announcement that voice and video chat is on the way, as well as the ability for Blue subscribers to upload two-hour-long videos. Faster playback and picture-in-picture playback options were also introduced.
June was also a busy month for Twitter (sorry, X). The time to edit a post was increased from 30 minutes to an hour, group Direct Messages were increased from 50 people to 150, and Blue subscribers could now write posts with 25,000 characters. We also saw improved screen mirroring integration, and a highlights tab for Blue Subscribers to showcase their best posts. Apple uploaded the entire first episode of Silo to Twitter, also.
Finally, in July, a new video update allowed for fast forward and rewinding, rate limits were brought in to fight scams and bots, a new version of Tweetdeck was launched, a new Airplay button was introduced for videos on iOS, first revenue payouts went to content creators, and Twitter was rebranded to X. Verified users can also download videos if the content creator allows it.
That’s a lot of changes, then, and Musk has promised more are on the way. In a post on X, he said: “The vision for X has been unfolding over the last 9 months – and there’s so much more on the horizon. Today we’re taking a moment to celebrate the progress and thank our teams and all our partners.”
Musk also posted that there have been “a massive amount of infrastructure software & hardware improvements! We will do a post on that too. The list of technical achievements by the X team is incredible.”
In a post titled ‘Building the future of X’, Linda Yaccarino added: “As we build the future of X the pace of innovation speaks for itself. If we can achieve this in nine months, just imagine the scope of our ambition in the next year. To all of the teams and partners making it happen everyday, THANK YOU!”
X gon’ give it to ya
Say what you want about the new name and some of Musk’s decisions, but it’s actually impressive just how many new features have been introduced in such a short time frame.
The Twitter of old seemed to change at a glacial pace and was often criticized for failing to introduce basic features or would scrap ideas early on. While Musk has had more than a few misses, to put it lightly, his reign has also seen some real quality-of-life changes implemented that have made the platform better.
And that’s significant now that X has a real rival on the scene. Mark Zuckerberg launched Threads on July 7, but after initially amassing more than 59 million users, the platform has seen a steep decline in users. I’ve already said I’d rather pay for Twitter Blue than sign up for Threads, but if you are interested in Meta’s Twitter rival, make sure you read this before you do.
Expect more changes to X and Threads as the two social media platforms battle it out.