Bizarre Twitter trick appears to ‘vastly improve’ a tweet’s reach – and even Elon Musk is trying it!
Elon Musk has made his Twitter account private in a bid to test whether it will ‘vastly improve’ a tweet’s reach.
The tech billionaire, who bought Twitter in October for £35.6 billion ($44 billion), declared that ‘something is wrong’ with the social media site.
He made the claim in response to a tweet from the popular right-wing Twitter account Libs of TikTok, which saw a surge in the number of comments after making its account private.
Musk tweeted this morning: ‘Made my account private until tomorrow morning to test whether you can see my private tweets more than my public ones.’
Elon Musk has made his Twitter account private in a bid to test whether it will ‘vastly improve’ a tweet’s reach
Libs of TikTok is a popular right-wing Twitter account. They claimed tweets were being seen by more people since making the account private
This morning the billionaire announced that he would be making his account private until tomorrow to see if more people see his private tweets than public ones
What happens when you turn your Twitter account private?
Elon Musk this morning declared he was making his Twitter account private – so what does that mean?
- Your tweets will only be visible for followers
- You will receive a request when new people want to follow you
- Followers will no longer be able to retweet
- Tweets will not appear in third-party search engines, like Google
- Tweets will only be searchable by followers
- Replies sent to an account that does not follow you will not be seen by that account
This means the only people able to see the billionaire’s tweets are his 127.7 million followers.
No one will be able to retweet Musk’s tweets either.
It comes amid complaints from users that their tweets are not being seen by as many people as they used to.
One user said: ‘Why are my tweets not getting visibility when tweets before and after mine in the same conversation have hundreds of views?
‘Am I getting in penalized by Twitter, and is so, why?’
Another added: ‘Anyone else notice that their tweets are not being seen?’
The issue has led users to take matters into their own hands.
Ian Miles Cheong, a right-wing political commentator with almost half a million followers on Twitter, revealed yesterday that he had carried out a test to see if making his account private boosted views.
He posted two tweets – one public, one private.
One read: ‘I’m gonna test out the theory that privating your account makes more people see your tweets.
‘This is a test with my account in public.
‘Respond/like if you see if this. Keeping this up for about five minutes, then I’ll do a private one and see what the reach is.’
This tweet was seen by 3,080 people, liked by 348 and retweeted by eight, while 47 people commented.
The second tweet, posted when private, read: ‘I’m testing out the theory that making your account private allows more people to see your tweets.
Ian Miles Cheong, a right-wing political commentator with almost half a million followers on Twitter, revealed yesterday that he had carried out a test to see if making his private boosted tweet’s views
His public tweet was seen by 3,080 people, liked by 348 and retweeted by eight – 47 people commented
His private tweet was seen by 4,047 people, liked by 1,710 people and comments from 568.
‘This tweet is being posted in private. Like and reply if you see it so I can compare it to the public tweet I posted five minutes ago.’
This tweet had more engagement, being seen by 4,047 people, liked by 1,710 people and comments from 568.
As it was tweeted from a private account, it had no retweets.
Mr Cheong added: ‘Further observation: the people I follow, whom I have on notifications, only started showing up after I set my account to private.
‘I received very few likes/replies from mutuals in the public post. It became almost unusable with the pop-ups at the top.’
Musk will now carry out a similar experiment to see the problem for himself.
However, several Twitter users have poked fun at Musk’s decision to turn his account private.
One joked: ‘Elon Musk going private with 127 million followers is taking me out.’
Another added: ‘Why is Elon Musk private? He has like 100 million followers.’
Twitter users have poked fun at Musk’s decision to turn his account private questioning how it is private when he has 127 million followers
Others questioned why it should be necessary to make Twitter accounts private to boost views.
One said: ‘Elon Musk made his account private to have more engagement. How is this making any sense?
‘Engagement should be based on the value of your communication.’
Another added: ‘Didn’t want to believe it but is broken when people have to put their account on private for it to have reach.’
Twitter users called Twitter ‘broken’ if people need to put their accounts on private to boost engagement
Other eagle-eyed users pointed out that the decision to make his account private comes at an interesting time for the tech billionaire who is in the midst of a trial over whether a previous tweet, about his other company Tesla, affected the firm’s stock price.
One said: ‘Elon Musk has made his Twitter account private to test the visibility of private tweets.
‘In other news there is also an ongoing court case about his Tesla tweets from 2018 and whether they cost investors millions of dollars.’
The troublesome tweet from Musk, published in August 2018, said: ‘Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Financing secured’.
Musk’s decision to make his account private comes at an interesting time for the tech billionaire who is in the midst of a trial over whether a previous tweet, about his other company Tesla, affected the firm’s stock price
As a result, Tesla’s stock rocketed to $8 a share within one minute, and by the end of the day these had shot up to more than $20 a share.
Yesterday, two experts hired by the attorney representing Tesla shareholders told the court that they estimated the tweet caused billions of dollar’s worth of investors damages after the deal collapsed.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen is expected to let the jury of nine make a decision on Friday.
Depending on the verdict, Musk and the electric automaker that he runs could be facing more financial fallout for his unpredictable behavior on the Twitter platform, which he now owns.
Without acknowledging any wrongdoing, Musk and Tesla reached a $40 million settlement with securities regulators after Musk’s troublesome tweets in August 2018.
TIMELINE OF ELON MUSK’S TWITTER TAKEOVER
October 27: Musk is officially made the new owner of Twitter, and tweets ‘the bird is freed’.
November 1: Musk confirms plans to change the system of ‘Blue Tick’ verification on Twitter, for a reduced subscription fee of $8 a month.
November 4: Musk lays off half of Twitter’s workforce as an alleged cost-cutting measure, claiming he had ‘no choice.’
November 9: Musk launches the ‘Twitter Blue’ subscription service which verifies accounts for a monthly fee.
November 11: The Twitter Blue service is paused due to accounts purchasing verification and using it to impersonate brands and public figures.
November 12: Musk fires 80 per cent of Twitter contractors without warning.
November 15: Musk fires employees that posted negatively about him on the business messaging app Slack. The lawsuit between Musk and Twitter is dismissed.
November 16: Twitter staff are told they need to sign a pledge to be able to stay on in their roles where they would be ‘working long hours at high intensity’ or receive three months of severance pay, resulting in a mass exodus.
November 18: A news-ticker was projected onto Twitter HQ in San Francisco dubbing Musk as a ‘space Karen’, ‘mediocre manchild’ and ‘bankruptcy baby’.
November 23: A Twitter user reported that 5.4 million phone numbers and email addresses leaked on the dark web, before his account was suspended.
November 26: Financial Times revealed that 50 of the platform’s top 100 advertisers have paused their ads.
November 29: Platformer reported that Twitter is in the process of reinstating around 62,000 banned accounts that each have more than 10,000 followers.
December 12: Twitter Blue is re-launched with new Blue Tick reviewing process.