Twitter undergoes changes following Musk acquisition

Christopher Elwell, Sports Editor

On April 25, Twitter entered a new era when Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk bought the social media giant for $44 billion. Twitter’s Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of Musk’s decision to buy out the company as they were set to become private. In the world of investing and business, it took many by surprise that Musk would offer this much to buy the platform, considering that Twitter’s net worth based on revenue and profits from the last three years was just $13.316 billion.
After his purchase, Musk’s net worth dropped by $9 billion, sending the total down to $203 billion. Part of Musk’s strategy to save money after becoming the company owner was to fire ex-CEO Parag Agrawal and other top executives to avoid paying out the millions of dollars they were owed in stocks. In addition to this, Musk also made himself the sole member of the Board of Directors to give himself a complete say in how he wants the app to look and be run moving forward.

Musk has also made it clear within the company that he wants employees to be proactive in making changes to the website, threatening to fire them if they are not contributing to the progress that he wishes to make. His plan to turn the company around from the inside requires constant innovation, and Musk is willing to go to extreme lengths to turn Twitter into a product up to his standards.

Just 24 hours into his time as the owner of Twitter, Musk decided to put his own personal twist on the app, changing the homepage so that logged-out visitors would be directed to the Explore page, showing trending stories and breaking news. He has encouraged people to tweet more of their thoughts, planning to create more traffic on the website and bring more active visitors to the website to speak their minds and practice free speech, which has been near the top of the list of changes that Musk wants to make to Twitter.

Musk has been open about his opposition to censorship and took to his own Twitter account last Friday to say “anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail.” The future plans that he has in his head for the website will be much more open for users to speak on whatever comes to mind, which has been a controversial point of discussion as to where the line between free speech and harmful language is on Twitter. With Musk in charge now, it seems that the possibilities of what the website could turn into are broadening.

The changes that Musk looks to still make to Twitter revolve around making it more accessible in places where Twitter is not as popular. Through Starlink, his satellite-based internet service at SpaceX, he plans to use their technology to reach new parts of the world to encourage people to use Twitter as a safe news outlet and place for them to be able to speak.

Twitter’s head of safety, Yoel Roth, was “impressed with his dedication to & perspective on security issues.” Musk has been persistent in his effort to improve the quality of the website and the safety of users to make it a more reliable social media outlet, becoming “laser-focused on identity and safety in the coming weeks”, said VC and Musk’s long-time friend Jason Calacanis.

As a way to bring in more revenue, Musk has also thrown around the idea of increasing the subscription price of Twitter Blue, which unlocks additional features that are not seen without a subscription, from a monthly price of $4.99 to $19.99. Users are paying for verification with this premium membership, and once the price is raised, they will have 90 days to renew their verification, or else they lose their subscription to the newly introduced features.

Musk has already made major changes to his newly acquired business, but he is certainly going to keep his progress up until Twitter has changed into everything that he wants it to be. With the control that he has over the entire business and website, his word will go a long way into how the website continues to change, possibly turning one of the biggest social media outlets into an even bigger resource.