Elon Musk's New Rules For Twitter Replies Are Going To Be Controversial

Twitter's new owner Elon Musk has announced the latest change to how the microblogging platform works, and it'll involve the order in which you see replies to your posts. The move is no doubt meant to bolster Twitter Blue, the paid subscription plan that replaced the old blue badge verification system after a bungled initial rollout and more than a bit of drama. Musk presents the upcoming change as a way to make it harder for bots and scammers to target users.

The microblogging platform has notoriously had a bot problem, and it wasn't unusual to see many tweets from them under posts from popular users. Musk has banged the drum about dealing with Twitter's bot problem since before he finalized the acquisition, but they're only part of the story. Twitter was financially underwater and the billionaire quickly took extreme measures in light of that, including laying off a substantial percentage of the company's workforce and allegedly even failing to pay rent on time.

You get what you pay for, says Musk

Musk wants to decrease Twitter's dependence on advertisers, and that means convincing users to sign up and pay for the subscription service. At the time of writing, Blue costs $8 per month in the U.S. unless you sign up on mobile, in which case the price is higher at $11 per month due to app store fees. The price point has been criticized by some as excessively high compared to what you get, but if you're a Twitter power user, you have little choice but to pay for it or settle for a subpar experience.

Twitter is giving its paying users early access to some features, not to mention the blue badge that once signified that an account was verified. The features that come with Blue are generally lackluster at this time, including things like being able to choose different themes and app icons, using NFTs as profile pictures, the ability to undo and edit tweets, and a reader mode for threads. Some features are promised but not available, such as eventually seeing half the number of advertisements.

In a tweet on March 18, Elon Musk said that replies on tweets will soon be rearranged in order of priority, with the top priority given to replies from the people you follow on Twitter, followed by people who are paying for Twitter Blue. If you don't follow an account and you're not a paid user, your tweets will be given the lowest priority, putting them down with the bots and other junk tweets. Musk claimed, "Verified accounts are 1000X harder to game by bot & troll armies."