It has been a year since the controversial acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, now known as X. This past year has been marked by a series of dramatic events and decisions that have left many wondering about the future of the platform. In this article, we will take a closer look at the tumultuous journey of Elon Musk’s tenure as the owner of Twitter and explore the implications of his actions on the platform’s users, functionality, and overall viability.
A Turbulent Year for Twitter
Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter for a staggering $44 billion raised eyebrows and generated significant buzz within the tech industry. The manner in which the deal was executed, with Musk waiving due diligence and subsequently attempting to back out, only added to the intrigue surrounding the purchase. Musk himself has admitted that he would not have bought Twitter if he hadn’t been legally obligated to do so, which provides important context for understanding his subsequent behavior at the helm of the company.
One of Musk’s first moves as the owner of Twitter was a massive reduction in the company’s workforce. He justified this decision by claiming that Twitter could not continue to sustain the same level of losses it had been experiencing. However, these financial issues were further exacerbated by the significant debt incurred as a result of Musk’s buyout. Consequently, Twitter’s functionality has been plagued by various issues ever since.
A notable low point for the platform came in July when non-verified users were limited to viewing only 600 tweets per day. This restriction was supposedly implemented to combat the usage of bots, but its impact was far-reaching and severely disrupted the user experience. This incident prompted Meta, formerly Facebook, to swiftly launch a rival platform called Threads, further highlighting the dysfunctionality of Twitter under Musk’s ownership.
Musk’s Approach to Free Speech and Content Moderation
Elon Musk has claimed to be a “free speech absolutist,” but his actions have often contradicted this assertion. While he has reinstated controversial accounts such as those of Donald Trump and Jordan Peterson, he has also been more accepting of content restrictions in certain countries. When asked about the takedown of content criticizing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Musk cited the strict laws governing social media in India as the reason for the removal, stating that Twitter must adhere to a country’s regulations.
Furthermore, Musk has intervened in policing language on the platform to reinforce his own views. He has controversially claimed that terms like “cis” or “cisgender” are considered slurs, demonstrating a tendency to exert control over the platform’s discourse. It appears that Musk’s vision for Twitter extends beyond its current social media status. He has expressed his desire to transform it into an “everything app” called X, potentially modeling it after the successful super apps popular in the Eastern hemisphere.
The Impact on Users and Advertisers
Despite the increasing bugs, dysfunctionality, and lack of moderation on Twitter, the platform still boasts a sizable user base of 350 million monthly users. However, the level of misinformation that has circulated on the platform, particularly during the crisis in Israel and Gaza, has raised concerns about the platform’s suitability for responsible brands to advertise. The lukewarm response to paid subscriptions indicates that this revenue stream alone is unlikely to offset the costs associated with content moderation and other necessary improvements.
Recently, there has been news of Musk considering charging users an annual fee of $1 for basic access in certain countries. However, it is questionable whether users would be willing to provide their card details, especially to a service they distrust or dislike. Rolling out this fee worldwide could potentially lead to a significant loss of users and engagement for Twitter. If this trend continues, it is possible that Twitter could reach a critical mass of disengagement, prompting even the most addicted users to seek alternative platforms.
The Future of Twitter Under Musk’s Ownership
In light of the challenges and controversies that have plagued Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership, many are left wondering about the platform’s future. The overwhelming presence of misinformation and the lack of trust in the platform’s moderation abilities raise serious concerns about its long-term viability. While it is unclear whether these issues will ultimately lead to the demise of Twitter, it certainly feels as though the platform is on borrowed time.
As users and advertisers question the platform’s integrity and effectiveness, it is crucial for Twitter to address these concerns promptly. The platform must make significant improvements in content moderation, functionality, and user experience to restore confidence and attract new users. Failure to do so may result in a downward spiral that could ultimately seal the fate of Twitter under Musk’s ownership.
See first source: The Drum
1. Who is the current owner of Twitter, and when was it acquired?
Twitter was acquired by Elon Musk and is now known as X. The acquisition took place approximately a year ago.
2. What were some notable events during Elon Musk’s first year as the owner of Twitter (X)?
Musk’s acquisition of Twitter was marked by a series of dramatic events, including a significant reduction in the company’s workforce and the imposition of viewing limits for non-verified users. These actions led to disruptions in the platform’s functionality and user experience.
3. What is Elon Musk’s stance on free speech and content moderation on Twitter?
Elon Musk has claimed to be a “free speech absolutist” but has taken actions that contradict this assertion. While he has reinstated certain controversial accounts, he has also been more accepting of content restrictions in specific countries, citing local regulations. Musk has also shown a tendency to exert control over language and has expressed a desire to transform Twitter into an “everything app” called X.
4. How has the ownership transition affected Twitter’s user base and advertisers?
Despite the challenges, Twitter still maintains a sizable user base. However, the platform’s credibility has been questioned due to misinformation and concerns about content moderation. Advertisers have raised concerns about advertising on a platform with these issues, and the introduction of a paid subscription model has not been met with a significant response.
5. What is the potential impact of Elon Musk considering charging users an annual fee for basic access?
Musk’s consideration of charging users for basic access may lead to a loss of users and engagement, especially if trust and satisfaction with the platform continue to decline. Rolling out such a fee worldwide could have significant consequences for Twitter’s user base.
6. What is the outlook for Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership?
The future of Twitter under Musk’s ownership is uncertain. The platform faces challenges related to misinformation, content moderation, and user trust. To maintain its viability, Twitter must address these concerns promptly and make substantial improvements to its functionality and user experience. Failure to do so could lead to a decline in engagement and potentially threaten the platform’s future.
Featured Image Credit: Joshua Hoehne; Unsplash – Thank you!