Twitter’s algorithm could be opened up to the public as soon as next week, setting the stage for a potential major shift in the company’s direction, chief executive Elon Musk said.
Mr Musk made the comment on Tuesday in response to a tweet from another user, who suggested that making the microblogging platform‘s code open source would leave him “truly impressed”. The move will allow the public to inspect and scrutinise the social media company’s proprietary software, pitch their ideas to developers on how to change Twitter’s code or even use the algorithm in their own applications.
In a tweet last year, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said that the platform’s algorithm should have been open, and voiced regret that it became a company instead of a protocol not owned by anyone. Opening up Twitter’s code could also put it on a collision course with Mastodon, the social network created by a German developer that has become an alternative to Twitter. Mastodon is a decentralised platform, meaning no single person or organisation owns or regulates it, similar to cryptocurrency — which is what Mr Musk envisions for Twitter.
An open-source Twitter was one of Mr Musk’s pledges during his campaign to acquire the platform, which included promises of several reforms, including the promotion of free speech and addition of an “edit” button, which has been introduced for Twitter Blue users in some countries. It is unclear whether Mr Musk — a prolific and impulsive Twitter user with about 129.4 million followers — will follow through with his statement.