By Harry Macey
Our Commercial Director Harry Macey shares his thoughts on what’s going on over at Twitter/X’s HQ, and what we might expect over the coming months.
So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. What exactly is happening over in Twitter, or should I say “X’s” HQ right now? The fact that we don’t even know what to call the platform anymore speaks volumes about the current situation of Elon Musk’s latest attempt of world domination.
Over the weekend, Elon Musk has done what Elon Musk does best. He announced, “Soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand, and gradually, all the birds”, replacing the well-known brand with X.com, causing chaos amongst the 260M active daily users. Now, clearly the Oxford Dictionary and Elon’s definition of the word “gradually” have two different meanings. As only a few minutes after tweeting he followed up with “If a good enough logo is posted tonight, we’ll make it go live worldwide tomorrow”. I can only presume that the Twitter communications teams have got used to this erratic, spur of the moment behaviour by this point.
Musk has said from the off that he wants to build an App that will act as a one stop shop for users to navigate their lives, similar to what WeChat serves users in China. So, why now has he chosen to announce this transition?
Musk has taken over and he’s taken over with an iron fist. Mass layoffs, public criticism of the company’s past performance and now a radical rebrand (undoubtedly driven by Musk himself) are all part of that Tony Robbins empowerment style, ‘make your mark’ principals. Elon may be a genius, but as a human being and a business leader he’s very far removed from the ordinary user, and their ordinary needs, so his way, his direction and his fist pounding, may serve his interests, but may alienate everyone else.
The rebrand can serve the company in two ways – it can deliver a fresh start, allow them to drive a new perspective and Musk can now shape the company in his own image. It can wipe the past failings of the company away and attract new users, new communities and new conversations, promising a new perspective, new platform and new identity.
But it can also force users and communities away. For all its failings, Twitter (in the pre-Musk era) had become a place for people to build a curated feed of content, to get access to insights from people they trust, and laugh at the absurdity of people they hate (a second degree of separation community). They had community guidelines, standards of behaviour, systems in place and (although it was the most volatile of the social platforms) a frequency of use and interaction that outstripped most other social apps.
Since Meta released their competitive text-based platform Threads, there has clearly been a cooling off period from the mass influx of users. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Twitter/X team are looking to take advantage of this downtime and regain the headlines from their rivals to get firmly back on track to create the worlds “Everything App”.…no such thing has bad press, hey Elon? Many would disagree in this instance.
For current users and content creators, the future may seem uncertain, but it is essential to remember that negative sentiment doesn’t necessarily mean the app is dying. Twitter is still witnessing an all-time high in user minutes, indicating that people are actively spending more time on the platform than ever before. This presents an opportunity for content creators and brands to leverage the increased attention and drive awareness.
As the transition unfolds, it is crucial for creators to keep an open mind and adapt to the changes. The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and while Threads might be a disrupter, it doesn’t mean we should abandon Twitter altogether. Instead, this moment of uncertainty can be an opportunity for users to explore new avenues, engage with audiences, and embrace the changes as they come.
The only constant in the world of technology is change, and Elon Musk’s latest endeavour is a testament to that fact. While it might be a bumpy ride initially, it is essential to remember that innovation often comes with challenges. So, let’s brace ourselves for what lies ahead, stay informed, and continue to be active participants in the dynamic world of social media.
After all, in the realm of technology and communication, adaptability is key, and who knows what exciting developments might emerge from this transition.