What the Heck is Going on with Twitter?

Twitter Changes Since Elon Musk’s Takeover

You want to meet your potential customers where they are. Whether it’s browsing videos on YouTube, connecting with friends and family on Facebook, or keeping up with news on Twitter, people spend a lot of time each day on social media. In fact, an average user spends about two and a half hours scrolling through their feeds daily. 

Companies, big and small, recognize the importance of reaching potential consumers and invest their time and money into building their brands on social media. But what if a platform just shut down one day?

This actually isn’t uncommon. We have seen platforms like Vine and AIM go down and make space for Instagram and TikTok. While older social media platforms may be gone, they never disappear without leaving their mark. Instant messaging lives on in the form of direct messages, or DMs. Instagram brought back a sense of MySpace with its new profile song option.

It’s the rise and fall of social media that we have seen time and time again, and with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the question is, are we seeing this cycle play out with the beloved platform known for its brevity?

Twitter’s Verification System

After Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter, we have already seen various changes. His first action was going private with the company. Then, he laid off about half of the company’s workforce. Since then, users have seen multiple outages of the site and its service.

One of the first changes for Twitter itself was the new verification system. Musk has been outspoken about his disdain towards verification on the platform, calling it a “lords and peasants system.” Instead of giving blue check marks to users who built a strong following and had become a thought leader through notable work in their niche, anyone can now buy the badge by subscribing to the Twitter Blue service. 

This was of course met with pushback when users argued that anyone could buy verification and fool people into thinking they are legitimate businesses. One brand actually fell victim to this flaw when a fake Eli Lilly and Company tweet was posted. The impersonation resulted in a loss of about $22 billion for the pharmaceutical company.

Musk also introduced different check marks to Twitter as a way to combat impersonation. Businesses are now rewarded with gold check marks and government accounts get gray ones, leaving the classic blue badges to Twitter Blue users and legacy verified accounts…for now.

To emphasize Musk’s dedication to his new verification system, a new profile design was eventually implemented. Businesses on Twitter are now separated from average users, thanks to square profile icons. Just another thing social media managers were tasked with fixing for their company accounts.

What’s New with Twitter Blue?

Twitter Blue is the platform’s paid subscription plan that offers users various benefits, such as folders for bookmarked tweets to help you better organize content you save. The service was created to improve the experience of using Twitter, but it might come across as a limit to free users. Check out a few of the features subscribers get access to:

Edit Tweets

As a subscriber, you get access to the highly-requested ability to edit tweets. We all hate making typos, especially when it requires us to delete and then repost our tweets when we want to fix them.

While many users want to fix small mistakes, the option to edit tweets doesn’t come without potential consequences. Even with a small window to edit, users could change a light-hearted or wholesome post into something controversial. The harm here is that users who initially liked or retweeted the post would appear to support controversial tweets.

With the prevalence of social media now, this new function could cost people job opportunities when employers search their accounts. 

Longer Videos

Another perk of Twitter Blue is the ability to post videos up to 60 minutes long, much longer than the normal 2 minutes and 20 seconds limit we are used to. You’re also able to post videos in 1080p resolution. For a business, however, you won’t generally post videos that are too long because that is not engaging for your audience.

An Increase to the Character Cap

One of the newest Twitter changes is the character limit a tweet can have. The original cap was actually 140 until it was doubled to 280 in 2017. As the platform is known for its brevity, the limit challenged you to hook your audience in by stopping them from scrolling to engage with your content.

For Twitter Blue subscribers, the limit is increased significantly to a total of 4,000 characters. After hitting the normal limit of 280, your tweet preview will end with “show more,” which will direct you to the full tweet, which can look like a block of text with too many characters. What’s interesting is that users would already utilize threads to bypass the character limit, but this new feature may require extra effort in hooking your audience in to want to press that “show more” tab for the full tweet.


If your clients are on Twitter, you may already be familiar with TweetDeck. It’s a great tool for managing your content and practicing social listening. You can search a specific keyword or hashtag, and it will create a column that updates every time a new tweet gets posted that includes what you search. This is helpful because you can track what your audience is saying about your brand or your campaign if you’re running one.

Unfortunately, TweetDeck may not be free to everyone for much longer. According to the back-end code for the Twitter app, it has been hinted that the tool may become exclusive to Twitter Blue.

Crackdown on Twitter API Access

Another recent Twitter change is the restriction of free API access for third-party developers. API stands for “Application Program Interface,” and it basically allows programs to connect and work with each other. 

For Twitter, developers have built programs that work with Twitter to improve the user experience. A good example is TweetDeck. Before Twitter bought it in 2011, it was a third-party app that utilized the Twitter API to tweet, view profiles, and track keywords to maximize Twitter use. 

External programs helped shape the platform into what it is today. From a digital marketing perspective, social scheduling platforms use Twitter API to help you plan your clients’ content calendars by automating your posting and monitoring and tracking performance.

As Twitter is also the social media platform for real-time discussion on current events, it has also connected people to resources in times of crises. API has helped developers manage large amounts of data that are impossible for people to go through efficiently. This has allowed nonprofits to offer resources and help to victims of the recent earthquake in Turkey. Soon, people will be charged a $100 monthly fee for access to Twitter API, which is especially costly for volunteers looking to connect with victims and provide them with support.

The Takeaway from All the Twitter Changes

All these changes and the uncertainty of Twitter’s future have led to the rise of new social media platforms, like Mastodon and Post. These platforms have garnered attention, and as marketers, we have to know whether our target audience is moving over or not. You should also look into these new apps and determine whether you should get on them if they can help build awareness of your brand or increase leads and sales.

Up Your Twitter Game

If you’re looking for help navigating all these new Twitter changes, Meerkat Media Group has you covered! With experience in ecommerce, hospitality, food, and more, our team can help you reach the audience you want in the way you want by staying in the know on all things social media. Contact us today for more information on taking your digital marketing to the next level.