Elon Musk's X: All the changes the businessman has made to the platform formerly known as Twitter a year on
From a major rebrand to leadership changes and paying for blue ticks, Twitter's new owner has left his mark
For any of us, Twitter - or X as it is now known - is a staple of everyday life. It's the place we immediately go to see the latest on a breaking news topic, the platform many of us use to share our opinions, and a source of great entertainment on most topics that take your interest.
With it being such a current force in our lives, it may come as a surprise to know that a year has passed since Elon Musk bought the social media platform for $44 million on October 27, 2022. Depending on your views and engagement with the platform, that either feels like a really long or short time since then.
But what's undeniable is the host of changes the platform has seen introduced since its new ownership. NationalWorld has compiled a list of the changes Elon Musk has introduced to the platform - both directly, and changes that have been the result of actions taken under his ownership.
Pay for a blue tick
One of many controversial changes Elon Musk introduced to X has been methods of charging users for previously free services. Getting users to pay for a blue tick has been a major talking point.
In December 2022, X relaunched Twitter Blue - top-tier accounts which used to symbolise verified users. Premium fees start at $8 a month and give users features such as an edit button, 1080p video uploads, and longer tweets.
Pay for TweetDeck/ X Pro
TweetDeck will be familiar to many as a place where one used to be able to open multiple feeds, searches, and profiles while also making your own lists of keywords and accounts to group and keep tabs on.
Well, that is no longer a free service - to the annoyance of many journalists globally. You know have to have a paid Twitter Blue subscription to have access to X Pro. This is one of many changes leading to the opinion that X has become increasingly hostile to publishers.
Reinstating banned accounts
Only a couple months into his ownership of X, Elon Musk began to get radical. His opinions on free speech were laid bare when he decided to reinstate a number of banned accounts that a lot of others may have been happy to see go.
However, it must be said that many must agree with Musk's views here too.
Accounts he famously reinstated included former US President Donald Trump - who was banned following the January 6 riots in 2021 - and Canadian podcaster Jordan Peterson.
Internal changes have also been big news at X. Musk's time in charge began with thousands of jobs being cut - around 80 percent of its workforce, according to CNBC.
Earlier this year in June, a new chief executive was brought in too. Linda Yaccarino - previously head of advertising at NBC Universal - came into the fold after Musk ran a poll on Twitter in December 2022 saying he would step down if that's what the people wished for.
And so they spoke.
A big rebrand
Perhaps the most dramatic change at was known as Twitter came on July 24, 2022. On this date, it was - to the surprise of many - revealed that Twitter would now be known as 'X' and that its famous bird logo would be lost.
It's safe to say though that people haven't quite gotten used to the new name yet.
Removal of headlines in article posts
Another change that will have annoyed publishers again came only weeks ago. Musk's attempts to change the platform's esthetics saw him remove headlines from news story links. Now stories are even more image-reliant, and the change means publishers have had to lose snappy social text to instead paste headlines.
A decline in referrals to top news sites
Twitter's decline in users and as a traffic referer has been spoken about often since October 2022.
And data released on October 26 only fuels this view.
According to Axios, app downloads fell roughly 38 percent between October 2022 and September 2023- a steep decline.
Encouragement of citizen journalism
This isn't a change that Elon Musk has brought in directly, but one he has certainly advocated for.
Musk tweeted earlier this year: "Citizen journalism is the path to a better future! I strongly encourage people around the world to post news about events as they're happening, in both text and video."
While the benefits of the immediacy of news are present, the perils here are almost too obvious to mention. Misinformation is rife on Twitter - a particular concern at a time like now when tensions are high in the Middle East during the Israel/Palestine conflict.