Elon Musk completed the buyout of Twitter in October 2022, purchasing the social media app for a staggering $44 billion (approx. £39.5 billion).

In what might be the biggest case of buyer’s remorse known to mankind, it’s been nothing but trouble and headlines ever since. From selling Tesla shares and taking a big hit on his net worth, to having up to a million users leaving the app in protest, the Chief Twit has been facing an uphill battle.

There have also been numerous changes announced since Musk’s takeover – and some have been particularly controversial. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest changes, that could have a resounding impact on Twitter, but also other social media platforms:

Death By Public Vote

After just a few months as CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk has decided to put his future with the company in the hands of the public. In a tweet on December 18th, he conducted a poll asking his 122 million followers whether he should step down as the head of Twitter. The results showed that a majority, 57.5%, voted in favour of him stepping down. While no official statement has been made, these results indicate that there may be potential for a change in leadership at Twitter.

Blocking Links To Other Social Media Sites

It was announced on December 18 that Twitter would no longer allow links to other social media, including Instagram and Facebook, reports CNN.

CNN cited a now-deleted tweet, reading: ‘Specifically, we will remove accounts created solely for the purpose of promoting other social platforms and content that contains links or usernames for the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.’

However with a lot of the ‘Twitter drama’, it’s not 100% clear if this will go ahead, as pages and tweets relating to the announcement have since been deleted.

The Twitter Safety account then began running a poll on December 19, asking if there should be a policy on accounts that have a ‘main purpose’ of promoting other social media platforms.

Twitters Trust & Safety Council Disbanded  

Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, a group of volunteer advisors that were made up of various parties such as civil rights organisations and academics, will no longer exist. The decision to disband the council, which was created in 2016 to advise Twitter on products and programs it developed, was announced on December 13th.

Staff Exodus & Layoffs

Soon after his acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk began making significant changes to the company’s leadership and workforce. He reportedly dismissed several top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. Additionally, it was rumoured that layoffs would affect around half of Twitter’s workforce, or approximately 3,700 employees, according to internal plans reviewed by Reuters. This isn’t the first time that a tech mogul has made large-scale cuts to a company’s workforce, as Mark Zuckerberg of Meta (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) also announced 11,000 job cuts, representing 13% of the company’s employees, in November.

End of Remote Working

In his initial communication to Twitter employees, Musk conveyed a dire warning on November 9th, stating that they should be prepared for “challenging times ahead.” He also announced the end of remote work options, unless approved by him personally. In his email, as reported by Bloomberg, he acknowledged that there is “no way to sugarcoat” the economic situation and its potential impact on a company that relies heavily on advertising revenue, such as Twitter. Under the new guidelines, staff will be required to be present in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week.

Monetising The Platform 

Twitter’s business model has always been centred around providing free access to users, but Elon Musk has introduced a new strategy that he believes will generate revenue for the platform while also reducing its reliance on advertising. 

Under this new approach, Twitter is introducing a subscription service called Twitter Blue, which is currently rolling out in the UK and US for a monthly fee of £8 and $8 respectively. 

The subscription includes exclusive features such as verified account status and customisation options, as well as the ability to ‘undo’ tweets before they are seen by others. Furthermore, Musk has announced plans to create an ad-free version of Twitter Blue in the future.

Vine Making A Comeback?

In October, Musk conducted a poll on Twitter, inquiring if he should revive Vine, a social media platform that allowed users to share short and comical video clips. Out of the nearly 5 million respondents, 70% voted in favour of bringing back Vine. As a result, Musk has reportedly directed Twitter’s engineers to work on relaunching the platform, according to a report by Axios.

Freedom of Speech v Content Moderation 

Elon Musk’s appointment as CEO of Twitter has sparked concerns among some users about his stance on unrestricted free speech and potential increases in hate speech and discrimination. To address these concerns, Musk has announced plans to implement a new content moderation process. The process will involve the formation of a council, composed of individuals with diverse perspectives, that will be responsible for making key decisions related to content. Furthermore, Musk has stated that previously banned users will not be reinstated without the council’s review and approval.

Double Verification (already gone)

The introduction and subsequent discontinuation of double-verification checks caused confusion among Twitter users. The new grey badge verifications were rolled out for a brief period in mid-November, however, they were quickly removed by Musk who announced that the blue check verification would be the only form of verification moving forward.

It is difficult to say exactly what impact Elon Musk’s involvement in social media platforms will have, as it will likely depend on the specific actions he takes. However, it is possible that his influence could be significant, given his reputation as a visionary entrepreneur and the disruption / confusion he has caused in his short tenure.

One area where Musk may have a significant impact is in the development of augmented and virtual reality technologies. Musk has previously expressed interest in the potential of these technologies and has invested in companies working in this field, such as Oculus VR, which was acquired by Meta (then Facebook). This could lead to the integration of more advanced AR and VR features in social media platforms, which would change the way users interact and consume content.

Another way Musk may impact social media is through his role as the CEO of SpaceX. Musk’s focus on space exploration and the development of cutting-edge technology could lead to completely new social media applications that allow users to experience and interact with space in unprecedented ways. This could be especially impactful for B2B companies in the technology and engineering sectors.

, Musk’s reputation as a disruptor in various industries and his tendency to think outside of the box, may bring a new approach to social media and bring social media marketing to new levels by creating new features or finding new ways to monetise the platform.

In any case, it is important to note that while Elon Musk’s presence in the social media industry will bring new vision and strategy, these predictions are just speculations, as it’s hard to know what exactly he will do, and any real impact will come to know over time.