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Elon Musk says only paying subscribers will be recommended in Twitter’s ‘For You’ timeline and be able to vote in polls

Elon Musk with his arms outstretched gratuitouslyElon Musk at the 2022 Met Gala. Musk says only verified subscribers will be recommended in Twitter’s timeline.

Noam Galai/GC Images

  • Elon Musk says only verified subscribers will be recommended in Twitter’s timeline.
  • Voting in polls will also be exclusive to users verified under Twitter Blue.
  • Last week, Twitter announced plans to remove legacy blue ticks from accounts on April 1

Elon Musk says from April 15 only Twitter’s paying subscribers will have their posts recommended to other users on its “For You” feed and be allowed to vote in polls. These features are currently available to all users. 

Musk tweeted news of this change on Monday, saying that it is “the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle,” he said.

Musk rolled out his new verification system, including Twitter Blue, shortly after acquiring the platform for $44 billion in late October. This system allowed any user to pay from $8 per month for Twitter’s blue verified checkmark – the blue tick appears next to a user’s name and was previously free to accounts of “public interest” such as those belonging to politicians, celebrities, and journalists. 

The early roll-out was marred by controversy and had to be paused briefly after it was seized by trolls and parody accounts masquerading as verified businesses or public figures, causing havoc for some brands. The company reinstated the service in December, bringing in gold and grey checkmarks for some business and government accounts.

Since then, Twitter has been introducing features to try and encourage more Twitter Blue sign-ups, including a way to edit tweets and a longer character limit for subscribers. In early February, The Information reported that the new system only had around 300,000 subscribers.

Last week, Twitter announced plans to remove legacy blue ticks from accounts that were verified under Twitter’s old system on April 1 — which is also April Fools Day. Musk has publically voiced his disdain for Twitter’s old verification system on several occasions, once calling it “deeply corrupted.”

Musk, who has consistently said he plans to target bots on Twitter, said that the changes announced on Monday are a way to address issues with bots. However, he also said that bot accounts can also be verified as long as they “follow terms of service” and “don’t impersonate a human.”

In an earlier Twitter post on Monday, the billionaire claimed that paid verification makes it more expensive to run bots and makes them much easier to identify. 

“It’s now trivial to spin up 100k human-like bots for less than a penny per account,” he said. “Paid account social media will be the only social media that matters.”

The Tesla CEO also plans to charge businesses $1,000 to keep their blue, gold, or grey checkmarks beyond April 1, a move that has been unpopular with firms. One company founder called the decision “outlandish” and said it made the checkmark “meaningless.”

Last month, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced a new subscription service — “Meta Verified” — that will give verified badges to Instagram or Facebook users who pay for the service.

Insider contacted Twitter for comment. The company responded with an automated message that didn’t address the inquiry.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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