Video and voice chat plans and more

Since Musk’s takeover, Twitter messages have been…interesting. But there seems to be some good news today as the company plans to replace engineers and set some new goals…

Hire now

Through a combination of layoffs and resignations, Twitter lost at least two-thirds of its workforce almost overnight. The loss of engineers in particular was feared, with experts pointing to the myriad ways the platform could fall over without maintenance work going on quietly in the background.

So far, the only major visible flaw has been the copyright infringement detection system, which pranksters exploit to tweet entire films as a series of two-minute clips.

Musk initially seemed to think service would be fine with a skeletal staff, but The edge reports that he is now hiring.

During an all-hands meeting with Twitter employees today, Musk said the company is done with layoffs and is actively recruiting for positions in engineering and sales, and that employees are encouraged to make recommendations, according to two attendees and a partial recording shared by was received The edge. His comments came on the same day as an unspecified wave of cuts hit Twitter’s sales department, which has lost almost all of its senior management since Musk took over.

The former iPhone hacker George Hotz, aka Geohot, was newly hired – but only for 12 weeks. It’s an interesting take since Musk hasn’t exactly been a fan of Hotz in the past, but Hotz tweeted that he had started for an internshipand Musk responded positively. The edge reports that the deal is now confirmed and Hotz is working to fix Twitter’s notoriously poor search function.

There’s no shortage of opportunities for former Twitter engineers, Reuters reports, as other tech companies target them.

Voice and video chat planned

We had already heard that Musk was planning to encrypt direct messages end-to-end to bring the platform in line with most existing messaging services, and The edge says that this is not the only planned improvement of DMs.

Framed by presentation slides titled “Twitter 2.0” at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters Monday, Musk told employees the company will be encrypting DMs and working to add encrypted video and voice calling between accounts, according to a recording of the meeting. received by The Verge.

Signal creator Moxie Marlinspike is reportedly willing to help with the encryption work.

Undisclosed plan to fix impersonation with Twitter Blue

One of the most messy developments Musk owned was the decision to make verification available to anyone willing to pay $8 for the privilege. This was done against the advice of his Trust and Safety executives – who were later fired or resigned – and of course gave free rein to trolls, hoaxes and scammers.

Twitter Blue was quickly unsubscribed after Musk saw the results for himself. A second verification tick was also present introduced and killed almost immediately.

Musk previously said Twitter Blue would return on November 29, but gave no indication of how the company would stop the abuse. The edge reports that that date could now slip, with Musk stating that Blue will not restart until “we are confident that no significant imitations will take place.”

But again, we have no idea how Musk intends to prevent impersonations. One option would be to verify identities with credit cards, but anyone can use a service like Revolut to create disposable virtual cards with any name.

Twitter alternatives in demand

The mess has prompted some to leave the platform – including fellow Apple member Phil Schiller – while many others are looking for alternatives.

Mastodon has proven to be the most popular of these so far. In the case of fake accounts, this is particularly problematic for journalists, The New York Times reports that is hoping for Mastodon to become a reliable alternative.

TechCrunch reports that Tumblr is also adding support for ActivityPub, another platform powered by Mastodon.

Photo: Chris Montgomery/Unsplash

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