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Twitter is an online service that lets users send and read short messages called “tweets”. The site is used by celebrities, brands and journalists to distribute news directly to their fans. The site was launched in July 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013. The company was purchased by Elon Musk, for $44 billion, in September 2022.

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2 Feb, 2023

Twitter to end free API access

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In a series of tweets, the Twitter Developer account says the company will discontinue offering free access to the Twitter API (version 1.1 and v2) starting February 9 and will launch a paid version, as it looks for more avenues to monetize the platform. It did not immediately say how much it plans to charge for API usage.

Twitter data are among the world’s most powerful data sets. We’re committed to enabling fast & comprehensive access so you can continue to build with us,” Twitter Dev account said Thursday. “Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent over a trillion Tweets, with billions more every week.

1 Feb, 2023

Musk locks his Twitter account

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Musk makes his Twitter account private – only visible to his followers – after hearing reports from users that posts on private accounts were getting more reach than public accounts. Normally, an account would see less engagement when going private as doing this blocks users from being able to retweet posts. When a Twitter user showed that, of two similar tweets posted in the same five-minute period, the one posted when the account was locked received five times as many likes, Musk replies:

Wow, this is extremely concerning

Followed by:

Made my account private until tomorrow morning to test whether you see my private tweets more than my public ones

Some users questioned why Musk was doing this test, when he owns the platform.

21 Jan, 2023

Musk: Twitter to launch ad-free subscription tier

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Musk says Twitter is planning an advertising-free version of its subscription product. Increasing subscription revenue is a key part of the social media platform’s business plan under his ownership.

There will be a higher priced subscription that allows zero ads.

25 Nov, 2022

Twitter to launch blue, gold and grey verification ticks

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Musk says Twitter verification will return on Friday next week with colour-coded categories for individuals, government accounts and companies.

Sorry for the delay, we’re tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week. Gold check for companies, grey check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates. Painful, but necessary.

All verified individual humans will have same blue check, as boundary of what constitutes “notable” is otherwise too subjective. Individuals can have secondary tiny logo showing they belong to an org if verified as such by that org. Longer explanation next week.

24 Nov, 2022

Musk offers ‘amnesty’ to suspended accounts

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After a poll that Musk ran, asking users if Twitter should offer a ‘general amnesty’ to suspended accounts, provided they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam, ends in yes, Musk says Twitter will restore accounts from the end of November.  Musk does not give details on how the amnesty process would be carried out.

The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.

More than 3.1m Twitter users responded to the poll, with 72.4% of them voting “Yes”. Mask has already reactivated some accounts, inculding Kanye West, Donald Trump and influencer Andrew Tate.

17 Nov, 2022

Musk: Twitter will drop 280-character limit ‘soon’

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After a user complains about a Twitter thread that is 82 posts long, Musk says:

Ability to do long tweets coming soon

Musk later says he is working on the project personally.

3 Nov, 2022

Twitter to charge for verification from next week. Edit function given to all for free.

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Twitter will start selling blue verification badges for user profiles as soon as next week, part of a plan by Musk to fight fake accounts and increase profits. Verification will cost $8 a month. Twitter also plans to make the edit function, which is currently available through a $5-a-month Twitter Blue subscription, available to all users for free, also starting next week.

1 Nov, 2022

Musk reveals $8 Twitter Blue details

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Musk announces that the revamped Twitter Blue will cost $8; will grant a verified user blue tick; priorities in replies, mentions and replies; ability to post long video and audio; and have half as many ads. The price will be adjusted by country.

Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month. Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity, You will also get:

  • Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam
  • Ability to post long video & audio
  • Half as many ads

And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us. This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators. There will be a secondary tag below the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians.

30 Oct, 2022

Twitter plans paid user verification

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Musk says Twitter will revise its user verification process, without detail. Separate reports say that users would have 90 days to subscribe to Twitter Blue at $19,99 (up from $4.99) or lose their verified badges. Employees working on the project were told that they need to meet a deadline of November 7th to launch the feature or they will be fired. Musk:

The whole verification process is being revamped right now

Musk later jokes about about the verification levels:

29 Sep, 2015

Plans to go beyond 140 characters

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Sources say Twitter is building a new product that will allow users to share tweets that are longer than the company’s 140-character limit, enabling users to publish long-form content to the service. Users can already tweet out blocks of text with products like OneShot, but those are images, not actual text published on Twitter. The company is also considering changing how it measures its 140-character limit, possibly removing links and user handles from the count.

8 Aug, 2015

Twitter, Shopify partner

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Twitter adds a buy button on its website. Users can browse products from over 10000 merchants on Shopify and purchase directly from Twitter. Twitter:

Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps for Android and iOS. Sellers will gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they build with their followers into sales

21 Apr, 2015

Anti-abuse policy update

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Twitter updates its abuse policy to make it tougher for trolls to flood it with threats and harassment.

We are making two policy changes, one related to prohibited content, and one about how we enforce certain policy violations. We are updating our violent threats policy so that the prohibition is not limited to direct, specific threats of violence against others but now extends to threats of violence against others or promot[ing] violence against others.

12 Mar, 2015

Bans revenge porn

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Twitter bans the posting of naked photographs and videos without the permission of the person in that photograph or video. Updated rule:

You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent

2015

Tackles abuse

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The site makes it easier to submit abuse reports and triples its number of staff to handle the abuse reports. The Company is also improving its methods to deal with trolls, with one method rumored to be telephone number tracking of users that have earned a reputation for repeated harassment.