Elon Musk is continuously looking for ways to make Twitter profitable, and his latest metric for measuring the success of his social media platform is to gauge unregretted user time. This comes as a bid to attract more advertisers and users, with Musk trying to make Twitter more fun, interesting and informative.
In a recent poll, Musk asked Twitter users whether their feed is better, the same, or worse than it was six months ago.
We’re trying hard to make your feed as compelling as possible (maximize unregretted user minutes).
How is it now vs 6 months ago?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2023
A majority of the respondents, 45.9 percent to be precise, said that their feed was better, while 15.9 percent said it felt the same. 38.2 percent of the respondents said their feed is worse than it was six months ago. He followed up with another question, asking users what they wanted more or less of on Twitter. Some of the common complaints from users were about shadow bans, suspensions, auto-refresh and algorithmic filtering.
Musk, who took over Twitter in October, said at a conference last month that he wants to optimize Twitter for the amount of time users spend on the app without regretting it later. He said this is more important than the total number of users or any other metric. He also said that Twitter would use secret algorithms to make the user feed more compelling.
However, some experts have questioned whether unregretted user time is a good measure of user satisfaction or well-being. Ravi Iyer, a former Facebook data scientist and current managing director of the Psychology of Technology Institute, wrote in a Substack essay earlier this year that social media platforms should focus on creating and amplifying positive experiences for users, not just avoiding negative ones.
It’s worth noting that although most poll respondents said that they feel their feed is better than it was six months ago, the platform has been riddled with bugs in recent months. A recent Twitter bug briefly revived verified badges for legacy users and a different bug in Twitter’s Circle feature made private tweets public. It’s worth noting that Twitter has been reducing its staff since Elon Musk took over the company, and the bug’s appearance indicates that the platform is not being coded particularly well.
Some users have started leaving Twitter in favour of Bluesky, a social media platform being funded by one of Twitter’s founders, Jack Dorsey.