Jeremy Vaught, a software developer who created the @music Twitter account 16 years ago to curate and share music news, was abruptly stripped of the account by X, the company previously known as Twitter. Despite offering no explanation, X provided Vaught with alternative account options like @music123, @musicmusic, or @musiclover, eventually giving him the @musicfan handle. Although the reason behind X’s actions is unknown, Vaught remains committed to sharing music content with millions of followers on his new account.
This account seizure is consistent with X’s terms of service but raises questions about the platform’s direction under Elon Musk’s leadership. Historically, Twitter thrived by supporting user-driven communities centered on shared interests. Changes to verification policies and the X rebranding, however, indicate a possible shift toward prioritizing Musk’s preferences over user needs. Such changes could erode the sense of exclusivity associated with verified accounts and alienate long-time users and influencers. This, in turn, might diminish X’s appeal to advertisers and investors, affecting the company’s overall growth and future.
Tim Fullerton, CEO of Fullerton Strategies and former VP of content marketing at WeWork, suggests Musk’s vision for X could turn it into a platform dominated by uncritical support for his ideas, without valuing its existing user base or promoting open discussions and diversity of opinions. Such a shift could alienate a considerable portion of the platform’s users.
Musk’s experience as a Twitter influencer has provided him with a unique perspective on the platform. Before purchasing the company, he had tweeted over 19,000 times to a following of 152 million. His influence and experience could bring about significant changes to platform features, policies, and user experiences, potentially addressing content moderation, privacy issues, and improvements that cater to global users.
In the past, Twitter saw approximately 80% of tweets coming from just 10% of users, with verification playing a key role in helping users identify influential voices. However, introducing Twitter Blue—a subscription-based verification service—has disrupted these user communities and diminished Twitter’s original appeal. Consequently, the platform now features an increasing number of verified accounts, drowning out influential voices and reducing authenticity and genuine engagement.
Recent data from Similarweb reveals only 116,000 users signed up for Twitter Blue in March, where fewer than half of the platform’s 300,000 legacy verified accounts have chosen to maintain their “blue tick.” This decline in verified users can cause confusion and mistrust among users, which may affect overall engagement. It is crucial for X to address this issue and find ways to encourage users to continue using and retaining their verified account status, thereby ensuring the platform’s credibility and growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was Jeremy Vaught’s @music Twitter account taken away by X?
The reason behind X’s decision to seize the @music account from Jeremy Vaught has not been publicly disclosed. X provided alternative account options for Vaught but did not offer an explanation for their actions.
How might X’s actions and changes under Elon Musk’s leadership affect the platform?
Changes to verification policies and the rebranding of Twitter to X could potentially prioritize Musk’s preferences over user needs and erode the sense of exclusivity associated with verified accounts. This might alienate long-time users and influencers, thereby reducing X’s appeal to advertisers and investors and affecting overall growth and future.
What is Tim Fullerton’s perspective on Musk’s vision for X?
Tim Fullerton, CEO of Fullerton Strategies, suggests that Musk’s vision for X could turn the platform into one dominated by uncritical support for his ideas without valuing existing user base or promoting open discussions and diversity of opinions. This could potentially alienate a large portion of the platform’s users.
How has Twitter Blue affected the platform’s user communities and original appeal?
Introducing Twitter Blue, a subscription-based verification service, has disrupted user communities and diminished the platform’s original appeal. Consequently, the platform now features an increasing number of verified accounts that drown out influential voices and reduce authenticity and genuine engagement.
What is the current status of verified accounts on the platform and what impact does it have on user engagement?
Recent data indicates a decline in the number of users maintaining their verified account status, which can cause confusion and mistrust among users, potentially affecting overall engagement. It is crucial for X to address this issue and encourage users to continue using and retaining their verified account status to ensure the platform’s credibility and growth.
First Reported on: wired.com
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Claudio Schwarz; Unsplash; Thank you!