What Twitter will look like under Elon Musk

What Twitter will look like under Elon Musk

Elon Musk, an entrepreneur as famous as he is fantastic, finalized last Thursday the acquisition of Twitter for 44 billion dollars. Since then, he has been using his own account on the platform to sketch out his projects for the now “free” blue bird network.

In a statement released Thursday, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX has announced that Twitter users will in the future be able to choose the version of the social network they want, based on a tweet ranking system. “It’s going to be a lot like ranking movies by age group,” he said.

Its publication also confirms that Twitter’s business model will continue to be based on advertising revenue: “Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world, which strengthens your brand and grows your business. »

However, the revenues paid by companies to the tech giants to broadcast their advertising messages are falling, as is the case for Alphabet, Google’s parent company, or even Meta. The new owner therefore intends to develop a new source of income via its paid offer.

If the employees working on the project fail to launch this new offer before November 7, they will be fired

$20 per month. If Twitter is free for most of its estimated 300 million monthly active users worldwide, the Twitter Blue offerlaunched in 2021 in several English-speaking countries, provides access to more advanced features for a handful of dollars a month.

According to the tech news site The Verge, Elon Musk plans to expand this subscription and raise its price to $19.99 per month, from $4.99 currently. With a great novelty: for the certified accounts to remain certified, the users concerned will have to subscribe to this offer. Also according to The Verge, if the employees working on the project fail to launch this new offer before November 7, they will be fired.

The South African-born entrepreneur also plans to reduce moderation on the social network while limiting the number of bots, these accounts created automatically by computer programs considered as spam, of no interest to advertisers. . A new content moderation council will be created and will bring together “very different points of view”.

It is this committee that will decide the fate of media people banned from the social network, such as Donald Trump or Kanye West. Reinstating them could swell the number of very active Twitter accounts. More chatty users means more posts, and therefore, potentially more revenue. According to data from the Pew Research Center, in the United States, the 10% of the most active users contribute 80% of the total tweeted content. And that would correspond to more than half of the company’s turnover.

One difficulty remains: advertisers are also looking for “brand safety”, ie to broadcast their messages in an environment considered safe for their brand image.
General Motors has already announced Friday evening that it is temporarily suspending its advertising investments on Twitter, declaring that it is “in discussions with Twitter to understand the direction that the platform will take under its new owner. »

reactions. To mark the change of course, Elon Musk announced the dismissal of Twitter’s general manager, Parag Agrawal, its chief financial officer, Ned Segal, and its head of legal affairs, Vijaya Gadde. Their successors have yet to be announced. According to the Washington Post, almost 75% of the 7,500 employees could be laid off. But again, no official announcement has been made yet.

What will become of Twitter in the longer term? A BBC article recalls Elon Musk’s desire to eventually create “X, an app for everything”, without much more detail. It could be a sort of mega-app, including payment and delivery services. Given the entrepreneur’s appetite for cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, the question of using currencies like Bitcoin is, again, a possibility.

If the form that the social network will take on the blue bird is still unclear, the reactions were not long in coming. Some criticize the choice to charge users, who through their content creation help attract advertising revenue, to have a certified account. A logic against the current of what YouTube offers which, on the contrary, remunerates its content creators. Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, reminded him that Twitter’s moderation policy must comply with the European legal framework.