“The bird is freed.”
–Elon Musk, 28/10/2022
“The bird is freed.” This was the first tweet posted by Elon Musk on 28th October 2022 after closing a whopping $48 billion deal to buy Twitter. A sign of things to come on the platform as he hints at his intentions to reduce limits and restrictions on content.
Within the first 24 hours of Twitter ownership, Musk made and announced some big changes to the way the social media platform is run. No clarity on how these changes will be implanted has been announced as of yet. Twitter’s CEO, CFO and Policy Chief were the first to go and feel the changes with Musk warning he has plans to lay off up to 75% of the platform’s employees.
But what is to be expected now Musk, self-dubbed Chief Twit, is now in charge? How will it affect our user experience on the social media platform?
The “Everything “App
On October 4th, 2022, Musk revealed his intentions with Twitter. He stated that buying Twitter was “an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” The letter X here is referring to the vehicles he used to buy Twitter. His intentions, as stated during a meeting in June with Twitter staff, are to add many more features to the Twitter platform such as instant messaging and mobile payment. His goal is to emulate the Chinese app, WeChat. In an interview Musk stated, “You basically live on WeChat in China. If we can recreate that with Twitter, we’ll be a great success.”
Of course, if Musk’s vision comes to fruition, this will mean that the Twitter user experience will be transformed. Businesses who currently use social media for their marketing must keep their ear to the ground over the coming months and years and adapt their campaigns in real time as Twitter begins to transform. Moreover, if Musk succeeds in changing Twitter in the way he wants to, we do not yet know what this could mean for other social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Will users stay loyal? Or will they favour the “everything app”? Only time will tell.
It has been a well known and contentious issue surrounding the Twitter deal: Musk’s concerns and values around free speech. He is a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” but is this a good thing? Currently Twitter is censored and moderated to a degree with negative speech (racist, sexist etc) taken down and the users banned. Donald Trump is a prime example of this when Twitter famously banned his account from the platform for unsavoury tweets. Musk resolves to stop this from happening and has stated intentions to reinstate banned profiles. This means that the user experience could soon become a lot more volatile with little monitoring or moderating of content from Twitter going forward. For many it is a question of ethics and morals and watching how this develops will be interesting for society and the future of social media.
It should be stated that there has already been push back from both the UK and the EU in regard to Musk’s intentions to allow total free speech on Twitter. Brussels has warned Musk’s Twitter “bird will fly by EU rules.” Who will win the fight and how will this change social media? At this point it is too early to say but is it exciting to be at the frontlines to witness what could be a landmark change for social media.
The team here at Kernow Media are keeping our ears and eyes to the ground watching every development. It is important to follow these if you are an active social media user and, particularly if you use social media for your business. Campaigns will need to adapt as changes happen and your consumer data examined. If you would like help or advice on how to do this, you can book a 1 2 1 private training session with our very own Gavin at Kernow Media, alternatively if you would like to learn more about what we could do for you and your business social media strategy. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact form below.