Elon Musk’s brazen attempt to refashion Twitter into a new, broader service called X will apparently turn the iconic social-media app into a platform for making payments. This dream, according to experts, probably has implications for cryptocurrencies, most specifically one of the billionaire’s favorite playthings: dogecoin (DOGE).
Musk has long talked about creating a so-called everything app that incorporates not only social media and messaging but also the ability to buy things and send money. Crypto could easily factor into that, given Musk’s long history of dabbling in digital assets.…Continue reading…
By: Helene Braun
On January 12, 2023, Twitter abruptly cut off many third-party Twitter clients’ application programming interface (API) access, causing them to stop functioning. This change remained uncommented until a week later, when the company cited unspecified “long-standing API rules” as the reason for the change.
By January 19, Twitter had retroactively updated its developer agreement, barring developers from creating products similar to Twitter’s own app. On February 2, Twitter announced it would be removing the free tier of its API by February 9 and replace it with a “basic paid tier”. Musk later stated that bot accounts that provided “good content” would be permitted to continue using Twitter’s API.
On February 1, 2023, Musk temporarily made his Twitter account “private” as an experiment to test his tweets’ engagement level. When the experiment failed to deliver promising results, Musk summoned a group of engineers and demanded an explanation for his declining reach. A principal engineer suggested that this was due to “easily chartable waning public interest in Musk”, prompting Musk to fire them.
On February 13, Musk expressed concern over the fact that his tweet about Super Bowl LVII had garnered fewer impressions than U.S. President Joe Biden‘s. Summoning another meeting with engineers, Musk ordered an 80-person team to address the perceived issue, under penalty of being fired. As a result, engineers altered Twitter’s algorithm to boost Musk’s tweets by a factor of 1000,causing his tweets to inundate many users’ “For You” feeds.
On June 30, 2023, Twitter blocked unregistered users from viewing tweets or profiles on the platform. Musk described the change as a “temporary emergency measure” on his own profile, blaming “several hundred organizations” for scraping data from the site. The following day further measures were implemented with temporary limits to the amount of tweets a user can see per day, with verified users having 6,000, unverified users having 600 and newly created users having 300.
After thousands of users reported Twitter issues to the website Downdetector, the limit was increased to 8,000 for verified users, 800 for unverified users, and 400 for new accounts.Three hours later, the limit was increased again to 10,000 for verified users, 1,000 for unverified users, and 500 for new accounts. Former Twitter executive Yoel Roth said the scraping explanation “doesn’t pass the sniff test,” and that the incident “isn’t even the first time they’ve completely broken the site by bumbling around in the rate limiter.”
Musk ordered Twitter employees to revamp multiple aspects of the program by the end of the week, enlisting employees from his other companies such as Tesla Inc., the Boring Company, and Neuralink, as well as investors Jason Calacanis and Sriram Krishnan. To meet these deadlines, many Twitter staff members were directed to extend their working hours.
On July 23, 2023, Musk teased that the platform would receive a rebrand, dropping the name, the phrase “tweet” and its mascot, which date back to 2008. He later confirmed that the new name would be X and that if he found a logo, the rebrand would be put to effect the next day. He then tweeted a GIF of the Twitter logo glitching into an abstract X logo. The logo is taken from the Unicode Blackboard bold typeface character 𝕏 (
U+1D54F) as it’s rendered on Linux systems. The change may cost the company billions of dollars in brand value.
- Elon Musk’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino issues first rallying cry to employees: ‘Let’s dig our heels in (4 inches or flat!) and build Twitter 2.0 together'”.
- “Elon Musk’s Twitter lays off employees across the company”. CNN Business.
- Twitter lays off staff as Musk blames activists for ‘massive’ ad revenue drop”. Reuters.
- Twitter temporarily closes offices as Elon Musk begins layoffs, including Canadian staff”.
- Elon Musk Begins Layoffs at Twitter”.
- Confusion and Frustration Reign as Elon Musk Cuts Half of Twitter’s Staff”. The New York Times.
- Twitter sued by workers over impending layoffs they say are illegal”. Yahoo! Finance.
- Twitter sued by former staff as Elon Musk begins mass sackings”. The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
- Update: Musk claims Twitter losing $4M per day as widespread layoffs begin”.
- Elon Musk’s Twitter layoffs leave whole teams gutted”.
- Elon Musk Walks Back on Twitter Job Cuts, Blue Checks in Second Week”.
- Twitter lays off 5K contractors in surprise 2nd wave of cuts, more mods lost”. Ars Technica.
- Twitter cuts a large number of contract workers without giving internal teams a heads up”.
- Elon Musk is firing Twitter employees even when they criticize him in private”. The Verge.
- Musk issues ultimatum to staff: Commit to ‘hardcore’ Twitter or take severance”.
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