Elon Musk and X a year on: 4 problems he needs to fix

Our very own Madeleine Dunne – who’s no stranger to a viral tweet – has mostly stopped using the platform since it became X. She credits Twitter for “helping me carve out my career, getting some great journalistic experience and connections.”

BBC News’ tech reporter Shiona McCallum recently interviewed Madeleine for this article on Musk’s year at the reigns.

Here’s what she had to say…

Why have you fallen out of love with the platform?

Logging into X feels like stepping onto a sinking ship. The For You page is a disaster – verified users on X Blue suffocate out everyone else, so very little of the content is actually stuff I’m interested in. Compare that to other social media where I’m being served content more tailored to me, I’m more inclined to scroll there.

Over the last year, what changes did you particularly dislike?

Probably verification for paying customers – it’s hard to know who to trust. Paying for verification is a bit of a weird concept – it devalues the term in my opinion.

The ads are also interesting. Lots of AI ads with community notes tagged on. It just feels a bit seedy.

Would there be anything that would make you return to X?

For me to enjoy social media, there needs to be a sense of community and connection with other users. It feels like X has lost that. I’d like to see more measures for it to feel like social media.

I don’t know if there is a way back, especially once you lose the trust of the users. When users migrate on social media, it’s often a one-way thing. It takes a lot to bring people back from this point.

Thoughts on Musk?

I don’t know the man, but it feels like there’s a lack of direction since the takeover. Offering functions like ‘Circles’, which facilitates connections between users and is popular on other social media platforms, and then removing it despite users enjoying it.

I think there’s maybe not an understanding of the average X user. Changing the name was a big indicator of that for me – it’s hard to understand buying a company with such a distinctive name and brand, to the point where the brand has become its own verb, and then throwing that away to rename it.

Maybe there’s a long-term plan – I’ve read about Musk wanting X to be an ‘everything’ app – but I can’t see where the site is going, and how it’s going to gain back the users it has lost.

Join the list

See the work we do, how we do it and what inspires us.