Elon Musk says Twitter to ‘purge’ long-inactive accounts, archive them and make usernames available to others
Twitter owner Elon Musk has said the platform is planning to “purge” accounts that have been in active for several years and make their handles available to new users.
As has become usual under Musk, the details of how the move might be carried out were not immediately made clear.
After prominent tech industry figure John Carmack urged Musk to “reconsider” deleting historic tweets, Musk said inactive accounts would be “archived”.
“But it is important to free up abandoned handles,” Musk continued.
It was not immediately evident how readers would access “archived” accounts that were no longer attached to their previous username or handle, which could be in use by someone else.
Musk said once the old accounts had been purged some users could see a drop in follower counts.
“We’re purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years, so you will probably see follower count drop,” he wrote.
Since buying Twitter last October for $44 billion (£35bn) Musk has carried out dramatic and unpredictable changes, including firing 80 percent of the company’s staff, removing “verified” checkmarks from some high-profile accounts while awarding them to paying subscribers, and adding labels to some publicly funded media accounts suggesting they are under the sway of their governments.
Along with announcing the new account purge policy, Musk said Twitter would be encouraging the use of the platform by content creators by awarding them all of their subscription revenues for the first 12 months and retaining “only” 10 percent thereafter.
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— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 8, 2023
“Your support of content creators on this platform is very much appreciated,” he wrote. “We keep none of the subscription revenue for the first 12 months and only 10 percent thereafter.”
Twitter relaunched its creator subscriptions programme last month, a renaming of its previous “Super Follows” initiative, which allows users to pay to access exlusive tweets, subscriber-only Twitter Spaces events, special badges on their tweets and a Subscriber-only tweets tab on creator profiles.
Previously users needed to have at least 10,000 followers to be able to offer subscriptions, but this has now been dramatically reduced to 500 followers.
Your support of content creators on this platform is very much appreciated.
We keep none of the subscription revenue for the first 12 months & only 10% thereafter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2023