The provincial government is assessing changes at Twitter some say could hurt emergency services.(Bloomberg/David Paul Morris)

B.C. assessing changes Twitter could have on emergency information

The provincial government appears to be following a wait-and-see approach amid ongoing changes at Twitter and the emergence of a new rival under the Meta banner.

Twitter, owned by multi-billionaire Elon Musk, changed several aspects of its service last week, which critics say undermine its usability.

Tweets are now only viewable when logged into the service and unverified accounts that do not pay for a subscription cannot see more than 1,000 tweets per day with verified accounts limited to 10,000 tweets.

Musk raised these thresholds after receiving complaints from users, but experts as well emergency service providers in northern Ontario have criticized these limits because they may potentially lock out users from seeing important emergency information.

RELATED: Twitter threatens legal action against Meta over its new rival app Threads

RELATED: Meta looks to target Twitter with a rival app called Threads

B.C. officials use multiple accounts to communicate crucial information to the public on Twitter, from DriveBC to the BC Wildfire Service. Federally, Environment Canada and other weather agencies share details from record-breaking heat to tsunami and earthquake warnings.

B.C.’s Finance Ministry said in a statement that the province is always assessing the impact of changes to any of its channels, as well as the reach of potential new channels.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, this week launched a new social media channel called Threads. It allows posts of up to 500 characters. This means posts on Threads can be almost twice as long as those on Twitter with its 280-character limit. Threads also does not limit the number of views.

But if Threads shares many aspects of Twitter, it lacks others such as timelines and direct messaging and it is essentially tied to Instagram, another Meta product.

While Threads is only the latest challenger to Twitter, experts consider it the most likely to succeed, given the reach of Meta and its various properties. Threads’ owner and Musk rival Mark Zuckerberg has also launched the new service as Twitter struggles to recover from months of economic turmoil and reputational loss following Musk’s purchase.


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