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Twitter testar ett nytt alternativ som visar dig utrymmena som personer du följer ställer in på


Som Twitter looks to make its audio Spaces a bigger element within the broader platform experience, Spaces discovery now poses a key challenge – because if Twitter’s not alerting users to in-progress Spaces of interest, it’s missing out on significant engagement potential.

Which is the key impetus behind this new addition – today, Twitter är launching a new test that will show you when someone that you follow on Twitter is listening in to a Space, by highlighting that broadcast at the top of your timeline.

Twitter Spaces in progress

Up till now, Twitter has done this when someone that you follow is speaking in a Spaces chat, but now, Spaces that your connections are even tuning into will also show up, providing another way to highlight potential discussions of interest.

Which could also freak some people out. I mean, if you came across a Space on a niche interest, or a questionable topic, you might not want people to know that you’re tuning in. Because of this, Twitter has also added an easy toggle to deactivate alerts for when you’re listening to a Space (as shown in latter two screenshots above).

Which is good, but I can tell you now, some people won’t know that this is happening, and some will be very upset when they find out that their followers have been shown that they’re tuning into questionable chats in the app.

Twitter Spaces in progress

I mean, would you want people to know that you’re tuning into this discussion? And this is a very tame example, based on a quick Spaces search. 

Twitter must have deemed this worth the risk, at least enough for a live test of the function, which it probably needs to push ahead with, because again, in order to maximize the potential of Spaces, boosting discovery is key. 

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As Clubhouse is now finding, as it opens up to more users, optimal discovery of live audio is challenging, because more people broadcasting inevitably brings down the overall quality of the streams on offer at any time. Just like video live-streaming, while giving everybody the option to share whatever they like, in real-time, is an interesting addition to have, most people are simply not that great at maintaining audience interest.

There’s a reason why you see the same TV hosts on every live event – because it takes skill, and perceptive nous, to read the room, and to keep the conversation flowing, thereby maximizing audience interest. And while it can be learned, it doesn’t come naturally for most people, and most live broadcasts end up being not so great as a result.

As such, having more broadcasts actually leads to more discovery challenges, because now you’ve got a constant stream that you need to sift through, in real-time, in order to uncover the gems that each user will actually want to hear.

That’s why Twitter recently added topic tags for Spaces, helping to manually filter the listings, which will likely play a big part in populating its coming Spaces tab for each user.

Spaces topic tags

This is also why Facebook och Reddit may actually have an advantage in audio broadcast discovery, because both apps are rolling out their audio meeting options to groups and subreddits respectively. That automatically narrows the field of recommendations, because both apps can show you recommended chats based on your registered interests, as opposed to trying to pick out the best from a much larger pool of incoming audio.

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The disadvantage in that approach is that you likely won’t reach as large an audience, which Spaces is probably the best option for, given the real-time nature of Twitter and the focus that it’s putting on Spaces streams. Twitter, for example, could look to highlight the most popular Spaces at any given moment at the top of its new Spaces tab – but then again, if it just ends up showing everyone a constantly revolving display of BTS-related streams (note: there are many BTS related Spaces), that’s probably not an optimal user experience.

Hence the challenge that Twitter now faces, as it looks to take the option to the next level. If it can’t show you stuff you want to hear, you’ll stop checking the Spaces tab, once it arrives, very quickly, and the option will die out faster than you can say ‘Fleet’.

Can Twitter do it? Can Twitter use its knowledge graph, based on the people you follow, the topics you’re interested in, and related info that it can track, in order to show you the Spaces that you’re most likely to be interested in at any given time?

Based on experience with Twitter’s current topic recommendations, and the tweets that it shows me in my Explore tab, I’m not confident that it’s going to get this right – but with far more insights into user behaviors and interests than Clubhouse, it seems pretty clear that Twitter is at least likely to beat out the incumbent in this respect. 

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Elon Musk Outlines New, Alternate Color Checkmarks to Clarify Verification


Elon Musk Outlines New, Alternate Color Checkmarks to Clarify Verification

Elon Musk has revealed more details of the coming revamp of Twitter’s $8 verification program, which was initially launched three weeks back, but then pulled from live production due to a raft of impersonations which caused significant confusion in the app.

Those impersonations also led to stock price dips, corporate apologies, misreporting – the $8 verification plan, while only available to some users, for a short amount of time, immediately caused significant issues for Twitter and it’s as partners.

So Elon and Co. took it back, in order to revise and re-shape the program in a more brand-safe, user-friendly way.

And now, Musk has revealed more details as to exactly how the updated $8 verification plan will work.

First, to limit the potential of misrepresentation of corporate and government accounts, Musk says that those profiles will now get a different colored checkmark, which will ensure that people can’t just buy a blue tick and then pretend to be Coca-Cola for example.

Enligt Mysk:

“Gold check for companies, gray check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not)”

App researcher Alessandro Paluzzi Postad dessa exempel of how these new ticks might look in the app.

It’s a sensible move, which will avoid similar incidents like this tweet from an $8 verified account, which tanked Eli Lilly’s stock price.

Eli Lilly tweet

The updated gold checkmark will ideally limit the potential for future users to do the same, because they won’t be able to buy the official gold tick – though there will be a period of adjustment and education on such for users.

The alternate checkmarks will also likely kill off Twitter’s new gray ‘Official’ tick, which looks pretty ridiculous.

Twitter Official checkmark

Of course, the new variations of checkmarks do also add the potential problem of another elusive marker that people will be trying to get. But we’ll cross that extra complication when we come to it.

Another concern with this approach is that it’ll require manual checking, as Twitter can’t know for sure that it’s a brand or government account without some kind of confirmation.
Initially, Twitter has thus far opted to avoid any kind of manual confirmation in this new process, due to the additional labor requirement, but now, Musk says that this will be integrated into the updated process:

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“All verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates. Painful, but necessary.”

How Musk and Co. do that with any level of efficiency, with 65% less staff, I don’t know, but it seems like they’re going to at least try to find a way to check each $8 subscriber before approving their blue tick.

Musk also noted last week that any change in user name will result in a blue tick being deactivated till Twitter approves the new name.

So, like, a lot of manual monitoring, with a lot less staff.

Also, for the traditional blue checkmarks, there’ll be no differentiation between those who’ve been given the marker, and those who’ve paid for it:

“All verified individual humans will have same blue check, as boundary of what constitutes ‘notable’ is otherwise too subjective.”

Which is true – there are a lot of blue checkmarks on random accounts, and it has been a confused system. But at the same time, there are also a lot of high-profile individuals who could be at risk of impersonation under this system – which, incidentally, is why the blue ticks were introduced in the first place (in 2009, an MLB star sued Twitter for allowing a scammer to use his likeness to dupe people in the app).

Det finns också detta:

“Individuals can have secondary tiny logo showing they belong to an org if verified as such by that org.”

So an additional qualifier for spokespeople, CEOs and journalists, as another measure to avoid impersonation.

The updated elements will certainly lessen the scope for scam activity, but still, they do also introduce a level of risk, and at the same time, the scheme itself is unlikely to work out as Musk hopes.

The revamp of Twitter’s verification program is Elon’s first grand plan to save the app (aside from cutting costs), by giving users access to one of the most in-demand in-app features – the elusive blue checkmark.

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Charging for verification could theoretically kill two birds with one stone, in verifying real humans (while making it cost-prohibitive to crate bot accounts) while also providing a direct revenue stream, thereby reducing the company’s reliance in ads. People want the blue tick, now they can get it, while Musk has also sought to amplify the cultural divide element, by presenting this as a way to even the field, and enable all users to get what only celebrities have thus far been able to access.

Initially, Musk was set to charge $20 per month for this service, but after an argument with the author of ‘Misery’, he reduced this to $8 per month.

In Musk’s view, this is a good deal, because who doesn’t have an extra $8 to spend?

He’s since sought to establish this as the norm, repeatedly telling his critics to ‘now pay $8’, as if it’s a forgone conclusion that people will indeed pay.

But they won’t, and history shows that there’s almost no chance that Musk’s paid verification scheme will actually work as intended.

Take, for example, Twitter blå, which provides Twitter users with a raft of additional features, which was initially available for $3 per month.

Twitter Blue never saw much take-up, peaking at 100k subscribers, with even the addition of tweet editing, the most requested feature in social media history, failing to shift the needle in any significant way.

Given this, it’s difficult to see Musk’s new, $8 verification getting the number of sign ups he’d need to achieve his aims for the option.

For context:

  • If Elon wants to get subscriptions to contribute 50% of Twitter’s revenue, as he’s previously stated, he’ll need 24.6 million users to sign on to pay $8 per month for a blue tick
  • If he wants to use this as a means to verify all the humans, so that only bot accounts are the ones that don’t have a blue tick, you’d think he’d be looking at upwards of 75% of Twitter’s user base, or around 178 million users paying each month
  • Twitter’s likely to actually lose around $6 per US user, per month, for each person that signs up to the new $8 Twitter Blue scheme, due to Musk’s plan to show Blue subscribers ‘half the ads’. Factoring in App Store fees from the monthly $8 payment, it could actually be a difficult balance from a revenue standpoint, with Twitter potentially even losing money on the deal, if it does end up cutting ad exposure
  • The majority of Twitter users are outside the US, where $8 per month could be a lot more cost-prohibitive. This is especially true in India, where most of Twitter’s growth has come from over the past three years. India now has 18.8m users making it Twitter’s third biggest audience market, and while Musk has also flagged variable pricing by region, even $1 per month could be too high for developing markets
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Essentially, there’s no precedent to suggest that enough users will sign up to Elon’s $8 per month checkmark plan to make it worthwhile for the company to run, as either a revenue or verification pathway. Just 0.41% of Snapchat users pay for Snapchat+, a fraction of LinkedIn users pony up for Premium, while Meta concluded long ago that charging users was no where near as lucrative as serving a bigger audience more ads.

These new measures do counter some of the issues that the initial version of Musk’s $8 verification program introduced, but then again, they could also avoid them entirely by revising the current blue check system, as opposed to simply letting people pay for the marker.

But regardless, Musk is determined to push ahead, and find out for himself either way

Musk says the updated $8 verification plan will launch on Friday next week (12/2).


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