Is it the beginning of the end for Twitter?

Is it the beginning of the end for Twitter?
14.12.2022

Is it the beginning of the end for Twitter?

by Emily Maree Johnson

You will have seen the news surrounding Elon Musk’s multi-billion-dollar takeover of Twitter, it’s been very hard to miss. It’s important for us to talk about for two reasons:

1.    It’s a great case study on the volatility of social media
2.    It’s extremely relevant for brands who are on Twitter
 
Here’s a brief overview of what’s happened in case you haven’t been following the developments:

  • Elon Musk bought Twitter for a lot more than it’s worth, he tried to get out of the deal but was forced to complete it by the American courts. He is now officially in charge of Twitter.
  • To recoup costs, Musk fired 50% of Twitter’s employees and requested the other 50% to work overtime – thousands of the remaining employees quit in response. Some estimates say that Twitter has lost up to 89% of its workforce, though exact numbers are not confirmed.
  • The entire moderation team is gone, leading to a massive uptick of hate speech on Twitter. Many large advertisers have left the platform in response.
  • The verification badge is now available to anyone with $8 to spare, so thousands of accounts impersonating celebrities, politicians, and companies have popped up.

 
Twitter has seen a large increase in active users since this news has come out, but these users are only there because they want front row seats to Twitter’s demise. That may sound drastic, but the massive staff layoffs and walkouts mean that Twitter is one small code problem away from collapse. 

If you’re interested in the details, here are some recent articles:

Many are viewing the twists and turns of Twitter’s downfall as a form of entertainment (myself included!), but it is serious.

If any of our clients are on Twitter, we must advise them to post a Tweet confirming their official Twitter handle and advising that they will be taking a break from Twitter. 

Why? Because of the issues surrounding verification. 
 
Accounts impersonating celebrities, politicians, and companies have popped up in the thousands. While many of these Tweets are quite funny, some are having a terrible impact on those being impersonated. Let’s take Eli Lilly as an example. A fake account with a blue tick posted this:

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This cost Eli Lilly billions of dollars. Look at what their stocks looked like in the days following this fake Tweet:
 


This was also a PR nightmare because it forced the company to explain why the price of insulin is so high… (The reasons aren’t good.)
 
So, is Twitter going to go the way of Myspace and Vine? Perhaps, we will need to wait and see what happens over the next week. This isn’t all bad news for the social media ecosystem though, as two sites have greatly benefited from the pre-emptive Twitter exodus: Tumblr and Mastodon. 

Would I recommend our clients create profiles on these sites? For Tumblr, definitely not (get in touch to find out why). For Mastodon, not yet – this platform may not fully take off as it’s not very user friendly. 
 
For now, I will be keeping my eye on Twitter because it’s a beautiful mess that gives us great insight into how quickly a social media platform can change and fall. We should also all keep our eyes out for any new platforms that pop-up to fill the void that will (potentially) be left by Twitter.

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Emily Maree Johnson

Written by Emily Maree Johnson

Senior Writer and Content Team Lead

As Senior Writer and Content Team Lead, Emily is responsible for creating website, blog, and social media content for Sentius clients and overseeing the content team. Great research is required to write great content, and Emily loves learning anything and everything. Her favourite part of her job is the client diversity and getting to learn about businesses and industries that many people don’t even know exist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and is a literature lover and self-proclaimed book worm. Her book collection spans six large bookshelves and you’ll never catch her empty-handed without a book. Keeping that in mind, we don’t suggest you try to talk to her about literature because once she gets started, she can’t stop.

Connect with Emily on LinkedIn
Emily Maree Johnson

Written by Emily Maree Johnson

Senior Writer and Content Team Lead

As Senior Writer and Content Team Lead, Emily is responsible for creating website, blog, and social media content for Sentius clients and overseeing the content team. Great research is required to write great content, and Emily loves learning anything and everything. Her favourite part of her job is the client diversity and getting to learn about businesses and industries that many people don’t even know exist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and is a literature lover and self-proclaimed book worm. Her book collection spans six large bookshelves and you’ll never catch her empty-handed without a book. Keeping that in mind, we don’t suggest you try to talk to her about literature because once she gets started, she can’t stop.

Connect with Emily on LinkedIn