An iconic image of Elon Musk entering Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on October 27 while carrying a kitchen sink is making rounds on the internet.
If there was any pressure on him to honor the agreement he originally proposed, it appeared to be hidden behind a broad grin. Since then, things have been unpredictable across Twitter offices.
The mass layoffs carried on by the new leadership resulted in the micro-blogging platform facing a lawsuit in the United States. Some 4,400 contract employees have been affected by this downsizing process. Elon Musk also imposed a deadline for an “extremely hardcore” Twitter 2.0.
While hundreds of Twitter employees are still on board, they haven’t clicked “yes” on the Google Form that Elon Musk shared in the email. They disagree with “working long hours at a high intensity” and “only exceptional performance will make a passing grade.”
The social media platform even saw a record resignation of some 1200 employees in a day. Twitter’s communications team is no longer present. This development comes as the FIFA World Cup 2022 kick starts in Qatar, an event that will generate a lot of discussions (and advertising revenue too) across social media platforms.
There are more and more signs that Twitter, as we know it now, will go away much faster than expected. Much of that is related to the product and the information on it. So that #RIPTwitter is trending at the moment, this article is being written may not come as a surprise.
Calamitous Route Change
Twitter Blue failed to perform as per Elon Musk’s expectations as he intended to monetize the micro-blogging platform’s active user base. The rollout of the new account verification process for anyone with a credit card resulted in trolls taking over the official accounts of celebrities and businesses.
Bruce Daisley, former Twitter vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, criticized Elon Musk’s initial actions.
Bruce Daisley said, “I believe Elon believed he would enter the situation and immediately realize it was considerably more complicated than he had anticipated. He claimed on the podcast The News Agents he doesn’t know what’s happening, which is very clear from every public move he’s taken in connection with this entire acquisition.”
Elon Musk initially insisted that maintaining the verified check (the blue tick) would require a USD 7.99 monthly subscription fee. Originally advertised as a USD 20 subscription, he reduced the cost after a Twitter exchange with author Stephen King.
Although Twitter Blue has been put on hold, efforts are on to bring it back. Elon Musk is also considering placing Twitter behind a giant paywall, with only a certain number of monthly free minutes available to users.
Warning Indicators & A Course Change?
A fake Nintendo account with a picture of Mario yelling at everyone was among the recently verified Twitter profiles. A fake Eli Lilly account promised free insulin for everyone.
Inevitably, this would lead to a situation where any account might receive a blue tick just by paying a subscription fee. Due to recent layoffs, Twitter’s moderation teams are much smaller now, which makes it harder to deal with fake accounts.
Screenwriter and producer Randi Mayem Singer responded to a tweet from Elon Musk by saying, “You’re not rolling out widespread verification—you’re just rolling out paid subscriptions.”
That warning was as direct as it could have been.
Giving everyone blue checks will cause chaos, and Twitter will quickly resemble MySpace. One of the predictions made by Christopher Bouzy, the creator of Bot Sentinel, a website that monitors Twitter activity, said, “Just because I can steer a car with my feet while blindfolded doesn’t mean I should do it.”
According to Elon Musk, the micro-blogging platform will make it possible for businesses to determine whether other Twitter accounts are connected to them. The specifics of this, including potential subscription fees, are still unknown.
He has also promised an edit button for all users. In addition, long-form tweets and video content are being discussed.
Many Things To Catch Up On
According to data provided by Datareportal as of the end of October, the most popular social media platforms in the world were Facebook (2.934 billion monthly active users), Instagram (1.386 billion), WeChat (1.299 billion), and TikTok (1 billion).
Since October, Twitter claims there has been a significant increase in monetizable daily active users, putting that population close to 300 million.
Every day, Bot Sentinel examines the activities of more than 3.1 million accounts.
Christopher Bouzy said, “We believe that between October 27 and November 1, Elon Musk suspended 877,000 Twitter accounts, and another 497,000 were deactivated. That’s more than twice as many as expected.”
It is argued that Elon Musk’s more comprehensive strategy is to relax Twitter’s content guidelines to allow for what he defines as “free expression.”
Also, former US President Donald Trump was brought back into the micro-blogging platform, suggesting that other banned accounts will be back online as well.
Why Are The Big Dollars Disappearing?
Since advertisers are taking a wait-and-see attitude, Twitter’s advertising revenue will temporarily decline. Eli Lilly, Volkswagen, Pfizer, Ford, Stellantis, and United are just a few companies that don’t advertise on Twitter. Businesses are apprehensive about the social media platform’s new content moderation policy.
According to Twitter, the business is currently losing USD 4 million daily.
Nandini Jammi, co-founder of the advertising industry watchdog Check My Ads Institute, claims that Twitter began losing sponsors after the news of Elon Musk taking over the platform.
With around 10,600 businesses on board, Media Radar, an ad sales intelligence platform, estimates that Twitter’s advertising revenues were close to USD 1.1 billion between January and August. In addition, Facebook generated about USD 115 billion in ad income in 2021, while Instagram brought in USD 30 billion.
The Network Contagion Research Institute reported a 500% rise in racial epithets in tweets after Elon Musk’s takeover. Evidence claims that several posters on 4chan encourage users to magnify disparaging remarks. Since then, antisemitic tweets have increased.
Shifting The Goals?
Even while Elon Musk insisted it was all about the money and revenue, there seems to have been a not-so-subtle shift in strategy. Utilization figures appear to be the main focus of his most recent tweets praising his ‘fantastic work’ at the social media company.
He recently tweeted, “And… we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage, lol.”
The billionaire has been criticized for providing inaccurate statistics on Twitter usage, including by firing staff members.
High-profile users don’t frequently visit.
Notable figures leaving Twitter recently include model Gigi Hadid, Oscar-winning actor Whoopi Goldberg, comic book artist Erik Larsen, Grammy-winning performer Toni Braxton, and former professional wrestler Mick Foley.
What Happens If Twitter Fails?
The name Mastodon is probably well-known. The complexity of it contrasts sharply with Twitter, though.
“Suggesting Mastodon as an alternative to Twitter is like suggesting Linux as an alternative to Windows,” says venture capitalist Benedict Evans.
Mastodon’s decentralized structure makes it more challenging to select servers or use the interface. However, that hasn’t discouraged visitors from taking a look.
The platform has surpassed 1 million monthly active users, according to CEO Eugen Rochko.
There is an increase of 489,003 users since Elon Musk took over Twitter on October 27.
On the day following Elon Musk’s appointment, 10,801 new users joined Mastodon.
Oh, and a “toot” is the term used to describe a post on Mastodon. And each camp is limited to 500 characters.
It is perfect for people who are ready to invest the time to learn about open-source, decentralized social media. The precise structure of servers will create a platform to locate vital information, but a general appeal may be challenging (there are echoes of chat rooms from online media from a few years ago).
Has Meta had a response? If you switched, your online profile would be dispersed among Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Nevertheless, none of them possesses the real-time placement that Twitter owns.
The legacy of the heavily criticized social media platform that Mark Zuckerberg has developed over the years means that it may just be a workable alternative if you need to stay in touch with friends and family despite the growing advertising and content curation. Chances are, most of them will already be on Facebook.
Discord features theme-focused servers that may take a Mastodon-like approach, yet, most users may find it more difficult and geeky than Twitter. In place of the “follow” idea, users must join servers, which are larger groups organized around themes and hobbies. Nevertheless, it can be helpful if you are interested enough to navigate it carefully.
At the beginning of 2019, Google discontinued Google+, its final social media platform. Since then, there has been no news from the IT juggernaut regarding any intentions to make a comeback on social media.
The most recent social media project from former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, BlueSky, may provide some optimism. The software is presently in beta testing, and as of October 21—before Elon Musk entered the Twitter headquarters—there were 30,000 people on the waiting list. It’s safe to suppose that has extended significantly subsequently.