Elon Musk is the downfall of Twitter’s UX


4 mins

Ah, Twitter. Love it or hate it, we’ve all used it at some point (for better or worse). With the notorious ‘blue-tick’, Twitter has long been a stage for celebrities to engage, sometimes resulting in headline-making feuds.

After Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in 2022, there’s been a shift to say the least. It’s like a bar in town that you went to when you didn’t have anywhere else to go has been taken over, the staff let go, and changed into something entirely different. You didn’t really choose to go into ‘Twitter’, but you liked having the option. You took it for what it was, and you’re angry that it’s now a billionaire’s puppet show – that is, if the audience were all just carbon copies of Elon himself.

Writing ‘relatable’ tweets that could be taken straight out of an episode of Black Mirror, Elon is somewhat of an enigma. So what has he done to Twitter’s UX now you ask? Let’s take a look.

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Twitter’s restrictions leave scrollers unsatisfied

Twitter has recently imposed restrictions on the number of posts users can view each day. Verified account holders can now access up to 10,000 posts daily, a stark contrast to unverified users who are limited to just 1,000 posts.

These changes have come amidst efforts to manage the platform’s technical difficulties and ensure consistent service delivery. However, changing one of Twitter’s key USPs has had an obvious amount of pushback.

If you want to use Twitter, you’ve got to pay the price

Twitter has increased the character count for a tweet to 25,000 for paid users. That means more words being given to the people you probably really don’t want to hear them from. The blue-tick was once a safety precaution – a sign of trust and authenticity that this was a reliable source. Straight from the horse’s mouth, if you will.

However, you can now pay £9.60 per/month to become ‘blue’. With prioritised rankings in conversations and search, adding bold and italic text in your Tweets, and the ability to post longer videos, the signs all point to dark UX. They’ve made regular Twitter annoying, limited and frustrating in order to make you want to sign up and spend your money. It’s kind of gross, and I must admit my Twitter usage dramatically decreased when my first ‘recommended follow’ was Elon himself.

The drama of the launch of Meta’s Threads

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Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has announced the launch of ‘Threads’ this week, an app developed by Instagram to enrich the realm of text-sharing. Aimed at creators and casual posters alike, Threads presents a platform for real-time updates and public dialogues. The vision behind Threads is to emulate the connection-based nature of Instagram, but in the context of textual content, fostering a positive and innovative outlet for expression.

Sound familiar? …Threads has already had over 30 million sign ups after being launched for only a few days. The timing is of course intriguing, and not without a tease from Zuckerberg himself:

A screenshot of a tweet from Mark Zuckerberg showing two spiderman's pointing at each other.

Of course this has been taken by Elon really well (not). Twitter has now issued a lawsuit threat against Meta, asserting that the latter’s newly launched Threads app, openly deemed a competitor by Mark Zuckerberg, has infringed upon Twitter’s “intellectual property rights.”

It’s early days with Threads, and it’s unclear who will win in this weird Battle of the Billionaires, but let’s see this as a prime example of how poor UX can affect a business. You have to think about your users, before you think about filling your pockets.

Get in touch with us today if you don’t want to ‘do an Elon’. We can help you keep your users happy, interested and getting what they want.

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