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May 8, 2024
(Updated on
Nov 10, 2023

10 Things You Can't Do Anymore Since Twitter Became X

Chris Delmas—AFP/Getty Images

When Elon Musk took charge of Twitter, things changed big time. The bird logo you once knew is now gone, replaced by an ominous "X." It's not just about the looks; the way Twitter works is transformed too. People have mixed feelings about these new updates. Some are excited because Musk is known to do bold and cool things. Others feel a bit sad because they miss the old Twitter—the one with the simple bird icon. In this article, we'll explore ten things you can't do on Twitter anymore now that it's X. These changes show Musk's idea of turning Twitter into an "everything app," but it also means saying goodbye to some features we used to love. 

1. Anonymous Browsing

In the past, users could casually peruse Twitter without the need to log in or register, enjoying the freedom of anonymous browsing. This feature allowed individuals to explore the platform, view tweets, and follow trends without revealing their identity. However, with increased privacy concerns and evolving security measures, the luxury of anonymous browsing has been stripped away. Now, signing into a Twitter account is mandatory for accessing the platform. This shift towards mandatory account sign-ins is not unique to Twitter but is part of a broader trend across various online platforms. Companies are increasingly prioritizing user authentication to enhance security, personalize user experiences, and implement targeted marketing. While the move to mandatory logins has its advantages, such as improved user security and the ability to curate personalized content, it has also sparked debates surrounding privacy and data collection. Moreover, the elimination of anonymous browsing may impact user engagement on social media platforms. The requirement to create an account may put some users off, which could reduce the number of casual or one-time visitors. On the other hand, making sign-ins required can help make online communities safer and more accountable because users will be tied to identifiable profiles. This could make online harassment and abuse less common.

2. Easy Access to 'Quote Tweets’

Once easily accessible, quote tweets have become a little more elusive. Users must navigate through additional steps, clicking on the three-dot icon, selecting "View post engagements," and then clicking on "Quotes" to see what was once a straightforward feature. This functionality provided a quick and direct way to gauge how their content was resonating with their audience or track conversations sparked by their tweets. Unfortunately, the current process involves a series of steps that may not be immediately intuitive to all users, especially for those accustomed to the simplicity of the previous design. On the other hand, the platform's goal to increase user engagement or to streamline the interface for a more cohesive and aesthetically pleasing design may also be what motivates such changes.

3. Tweeting to Circles

With the introduction of X, a notable shift occurred on X, as the Circles feature, a tool that once empowered users to selectively share posts with specific subgroups of followers such as friends, family, and colleagues, was removed. This departure marked a change from the ability to engage with a more focused audience as the platform transitioned towards a model that prioritizes uniform broadcasts to all followers. The decision to eliminate the Circles feature may be rooted in the platform's desire for streamlined user experiences or a response to user behaviour patterns. However, the consequence is a potential loss of granularity in content sharing. This shift raises questions about the evolving philosophy of social media platforms. On one hand, a more streamlined approach can simplify user interactions and reduce the cognitive load associated with managing various audience segments. On the other hand, the removal of nuanced sharing options may lead to a loss of control for users who value the ability to curate their audience for different types of content.

4. Headlines Stripped from Links

In a noticeable design shift, the aesthetic priorities of Musk have become evident as headlines accompanying links in tweets have been axed. This adjustment introduces a departure from the conventional presentation, where tweets with embedded links would showcase accompanying headlines, providing followers with a preview of the linked content. However, under the current format, when users include a link in their tweets, the corresponding headline is no longer displayed, leaving followers in the dark about the content. This departure from displaying headlines with links raises questions about the user experience and the accessibility of information on the platform. It served as a valuable tool for content creators, news outlets, and influencers to provide a snapshot of the linked content, potentially increasing the likelihood of user engagement. The decision to remove headlines might align with a broader design philosophy emphasizing a cleaner, more minimalist aesthetic. By stripping away additional text, tweets become visually streamlined, potentially reducing clutter and making the platform more visually cohesive. However, this change may come at the cost of sacrificing informative context and the ability to quickly assess the relevance of a linked article or webpage.

5. Extended Wait Time for Opening Competitors' Links

In a controversial development, X has come under scrutiny for allegedly implementing measures that throttle traffic from competitor platforms, impacting the user experience when attempting to open links from sources such as Threads, Facebook, Instagram, Bluesky, and Substack. This deliberate delay in opening links from these sources has resulted in an extended wait time, prompting concerns about fair competition within the dynamic landscape of social media. The decision to impede the opening of links from competitors raises questions about the principles of open access, fair competition, and user choice. Users accustomed to seamless access to a variety of content from different platforms may find this extended wait time frustrating and counterintuitive to the open nature of the internet. It also raises concerns about the potential impact on content creators, as any delay in accessing their work could adversely affect user engagement and visibility.

6. Loss of PlayStation and Xbox Gamer Integrations

Source: Event Hubs

In a significant blow to the gaming community, users on the PlayStation and Xbox platforms are now facing a disruption in the seamless sharing of their gaming experiences, such as achievements, in-game screenshots, and updates on X. This disruption stems from the termination of Twitter's API integration with gaming giants like Microsoft and Sony, severing the direct link between gaming consoles and the social media platform. Without a direct link to Twitter, users may need to resort to alternative methods, such as manually capturing and uploading screenshots or using external sharing options within the gaming consoles. There are a few possible reasons why Twitter stopped integrating its API with gaming consoles: technical issues, shifts in the platform's priorities, or new talks between Twitter and the gaming companies involved. However, the impact is palpable for users who valued the ease with which they could showcase their gaming experiences to their Twitter followers.

7. Blue Check Verification Loses Prestige

Source: X Corp.

Elon Musk's approach to the coveted blue checkmark has marked a significant shift in its traditional significance. Once hailed as a symbol of authentication reserved for influential and high-profile accounts, serving as a marker of authenticity and credibility, the blue check verification has undergone a transformation where its exclusivity has been compromised. This verification process typically involves a rigorous review by platform administrators to ensure the legitimacy of the account. Now, individuals can obtain the blue check through a subscription to X Premium for a monthly fee, a move that has led to the devaluation of its former prestige. This change has sparked debates about the dilution of the blue check's significance and its transformation into a commodity that can be purchased rather than earned. On the other hand, proponents may argue that making the blue check available through a subscription model generates revenue for the platform while providing users with an optional feature to enhance their experience. This approach aligns with the broader trend of platforms offering premium features for a fee, catering to users who seek additional benefits beyond the basic functionalities.

8. Elimination of the Block Feature

In a surprising move, Elon Musk also announced the forthcoming elimination of the block feature on X, with the exception of direct messages. Removing a fundamental tool that users have relied on to manage and mitigate harassment and unwanted interactions raises concerns about the potential impact on user safety and the platform's commitment to providing a secure and comfortable online environment. By eliminating this tool, Musk's announcement has sparked apprehension among users who value the ability to curate their online experience and protect themselves from unwanted attention.

9. Twitter's Name and Iconography

In a transformative rebranding move, Twitter has bid farewell to its iconic blue bird logo, a symbol synonymous with the platform for years. Instead, a dark insignia bearing the straightforward letter "X" has taken the place of the well-known avian symbol. This rebranding might be an attempt to position the platform as a multifaceted space accommodating a diverse range of content and interactions. The symbolic significance of the letter "X" may invite interpretation. "X" often denotes unknown variables or serves as a placeholder, suggesting a platform open to a myriad of possibilities and conversations. The dark colour of the new insignia could signify a sense of mystery or sophistication, emphasizing a departure from the light and airy aesthetic associated with the previous bird logo.

10. Twitter's Original Character Limit

The hallmark of Twitter's original charm, characterized by its concise 140-character limit, has been consigned to the past with the advent of X. This new update of the X platform embraces a more versatile content approach, enabling users to post longer messages and even share hours of video content. This departure from the brevity that defined Twitter's early days marks a significant evolution in the platform's communication style. Twitter's 140-character limit gave rise to a unique form of online communication, fostering the creation of concise and impactful messages often referred to as "tweets." The elimination of the 140-character constraint opens up new possibilities for content creators, journalists, and individuals who can now share more comprehensive and nuanced narratives. It also fits with a larger trend in the industry: platforms are getting better at supporting a wider range of content formats because they know that visual and multimedia elements are becoming more important in online communication. The change may also impact the pace at which information is consumed on the platform, as longer-form content may require more time and attention from users.

The Twitter application is seen on a digital device, April 25, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

As X continues to evolve, these changes reflect Elon Musk's vision for a new era of social media. While some alterations have been met with enthusiasm, others have sparked debates about the trade-offs between innovation and the nostalgia of the Twitter we once knew. The metamorphosis of X remains a topic of both excitement and concern among its user base.

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