It has been a week since Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter, and he has wasted no time shaking up the struggling social media firm. The subsequent cataclysmic layoffs have left many baffled.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, for one, believes the Tesla chief can make Twitter “really great” or “really terrible.” The latter scenario would open up new “opportunities for other people to do something great.”
He added that Twitter might end up somewhere in the middle of those two extreme outcomes under Musk’s leadership.
Ethereum’s Buterin on Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover
Billionaire Elon Musk finally took control of Twitter last Thursday, ending months of speculations. In his first move as the boss of one of the world’s most popular social networking sites, Musk terminated Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, as well as legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. He also hinted at more upcoming changes.
While weighing on the biggest takeover in the tech world, Buterin said, “Elon is a very high variance actor.” The exec spoke at the Singapore FinTech Festival, where he revealed to be “hopeful in the next five to ten years there’s going to be some kind of better social media platform.”
However, whether that is “Twitter itself or whether we’ll see a big ground-swelling with alternatives – we could even see both,” he added.
Criticisms on Blue-Tick Reforms
After causing a stir with his initial moves, Musk announced that verified Twitter users will be soon charged to keep their blue tick.
He suggested that Twitter Blue, the micro-blogging platform’s optional $4.99-a-month subscription, which offers exclusive access to premium features, be changed into a $20-a-month subscription. The system is expected to become a new way of verifying users and fighting bots and spammers plaguing the network.
Musk then reduced the price to $8 per month to be “adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity.” This prompted reactions from many users of the platform, including Buterin, who said that the efficacy of the new reforms will depend on “exactly how much due diligence is done to make sure blue checks are who they say they are.”
He argued that “if there’s more actual verification, the result is very different” and questioned how such a process would create an “economic hierarchy” while adding that the current setup is “far more exclusive than even the $20/month level from yesterday.”