BY Wesley Diphoko 3 MINUTE READ

When Elon Musk acquired Twitter, many were against the move. This got worse with the rebranding exercise from Twitter to X. I was one of the few who considered the Twitter acquisition aswell as the rebranding exercise as part of a process of taking Twitter to another level (read about my thoughts about Twitter rebranding here). Recent developments at Twitter are a clear indicator that the platform will get better with time. Here’s what has happened so far since the acquisition by Musk.

The changes at X have come at a huge price to some employees and some functionality has been curtailed. There are also some good things that have come with the change. Many forget that when Twitter was acquired it was a struggling company and very poor with innovation. Since the acquisition by Elon Musk we’ve seen important innovation foundation being laid out. Just have a look at the premium version of X which has added another revenue stream for the platform. This will probably not make much of a dent in terms of making the platform profitable. It is, however, better than offering everything for free. When one also looks at the services for premium users it’s clear to see that X as a product is becoming better.

Soon, users will be able to access information about jobs according to recent reports. Employers will also have an opportunity to get a better understanding of potential candidates based on data sourced from X. This may seem minor however it’s part of a process of developing X towards being a Super app. In addition, we now know that X has become a platform that enables content creators to earn income.

South African premium users of the platform have recently announced that they’ve earned thousands based on their content. If this is not enough to convince you that X is becoming a better platform, consider the fact that soon you will need an ID or facial recognition to sign up. It is reported that X will collect biometric data on its users, such as a photograph of their face, in an update to its privacy policy. People signed up to its subscription service, X Premium, can choose to provide a selfie and photo ID for verification.

If this truly becomes a reality by the end of September 2023 for premium users, it will become one of the most important ways of curbing impersonation on X. This will probably also tackle the misinformation challenge on the platform. As these features are added on the platform it is just a matter of time before it becomes the most important tech platform. What does this mean for Twitter users (both consumers and enterprises)? It is time to take X seriously. This platform is becoming a defacto standard for identity online. At some point you will need an X account to prove that you truly exist online. As long as others don’t tighten the registration process which requires an ID, X will do what governments have been doing, in terms of identity, but this time for the digital world.

It’s also interesting to note that X may be developing solutions to enable content creators to earn an income online. Part of this is not new as other platforms have also enabled users to earn an income however the X approach seems to be different. For many years corporations have been commercialising the existence of users on their platforms. They’ve used their data to earn an income. The X approach seems to be paying users for existing on the platform as long as they are paying subscribers and also drawing an audience attention that justifies payment.

This is a model to emulate by other platforms to compensate users.

For now X it is not the same as another everything app – WeChat (in China) – where users almost do everything. It is also not clear whether users across the West and other parts of the world will trust Elon Musk controlled companies to know everything about them and keep their sensitive data. We are however beginning to see key steps towards making X an everything app.

I would also not be surprised if one day X will become integrated with other Elon Musk companies such as Neuralink and the Tesla Bot product. Once Musk gets hold of biometric data, anything is possible that could lead to digital beings with robot companions. Just watch this X space.