Elon Musk, the man who sent his sports car into space, has agreed to buy the powerful social media platform, Twitter, for a massive $44bn (£34.5bn) deal. Musk will change Twitter in content moderation, free-speech focus, waving-off scam-bots, edit button incorporation, human authentication, Twitter as a subscription-based model, and Twitter Ads suspension. The wealthiest person on the Earth now holds 9.2% of the overall stake in the famous micro-blogging platform; Twitter. However, Elon Musk has temporarily put the Twitter deal on hold due to reported spam accounts.
What you need to know:
Elon Musk is adding Twitter to his impressive business portfolio, containing Tesla and SpaceX. Twitter declared that it has agreed for Musk — the richest man on the planet, as per Forbes — to gain the organization for about $44 billion.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” said Mr. Musk in his tweet, where he concluded to take over Twitter and change it for a better social media platform. Have a look at the original Tweet.
What is Twitter, and how can it be transformed?
Twitter is an American microblogging, and social networking platform through which people can interact and express their thoughts in ‘tweets.’ Among all the most popular microblogging sites is Twitter. Registered users can view, like, and post tweets whenever and their tweets can be viewed publicly.
Elon Musk has reportedly announced that he’ll be revolutionizing Twitter to all his ‘extraordinary’ potential. One can alter the tweet once posted! Sounds cool?
Musk wants to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the application with mind-boggling features: making the algorithms open source as a matter of trust, defeating the spam bots army, and authenticating all humans.
In short, Twitter might get a whole new face!
Why was Elon Musk so keen to buy Twitter?
Musk feels Twitter is an excellent platform for a free-speech authority site to society. However, he wants to change the core form and transform it into a private company and this is the ideal answer to “why does Elon Musk want Twitter?“
Elon Musk Twitter deal has been in full force since he purchased a 9 percent stake in the company on April 4. Being a financially aggressive deal, Musk is about to buy all existing company shares.
Twitter has around 200 million users worldwide. People give short bursts of breaking news or thoughts in micro-blogs. From Musk acquiring a significant stake in the company to deciding to buy the whole company was the crucial change seen since April. Mr. Musk has stated that he doesn’t “care about the economics” of the purchase.
♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️ pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
Elon musk finally decides to buy Twitter for $44 billion; what next?
After weeks of pursuit, Musk bought a 9.2 percent stake in the company. Initially, Musk wanted to buy the whole company with the highest stake, but the company’s board members defended the same. The company’s board activated a ‘poison-pill‘ to prevent Musk from potential takeover at his earlier bid of $43billion. According to the reports, Elon Musk aims to increase Twitter’s revenue to US $26.4 billion by 2028.
Here are the 8 expected changes to happen to Twitter:
1. Enabling free speech on Twitter
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” said Elon Musk. Twitter doesn’t let you convey your serious thoughts on political grounds or any sensitive topic. Rather it censors the content or suspends the account.
Records that will display your violations will be incorporated. Musk wants himself and others to tweet whatever they want to, and hence he dropped a poll for the same where 70.4% of people agree the same.
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
One sheer reason for this transformation is the growing pressure from politicians and regulators over the content appearing on the platform. Twitter had some serious guidelines for content moderation. Twitter suspended accounts of many eminent personalities like America’s Ex-President Donald Trump, Indian Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, famous Youtuber PewDiePie, and Indian singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya against provoked violence and violation of Twitter’s guidelines.
This is the big reason to incorporate de facto arbiter of free speech!
2. Alter your tweet with the ‘edit button’
Musk tossed out a Twitter poll to understand people’s opinions regarding the edit button inside Twitter to change and amend your posted tweet. First, have a look at the original tweet! The majority of the people are in favor of the decision.
Do you want an edit button?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
Sarcastically, this can go from a tweet like “I love Tesla” to an edited one like “I own Tesla!” Funny yet serious!
3. An open source algorithm
According to Musk, Twitter should open-source its algorithm so people can also give recommendations about the algorithm. The company can then bring the changes in due time.
4. End of Twitter Ads & rise of the subscription-based model?
Mr. Musk recently tweeted about believing in subscription-based Twitter instead of an advertising-supported platform. Although ‘Twitter Blue‘ already exists, that includes premium features for the users.
5. Pay for an account on Twitter
Elon Musk stated about charging a small fee for commercial and government users. However, for “casual users,” Twitter will “always be free.”
Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022
6. Wave off spam-bots & authenticate ‘only humans’
Spam-bots are marketing companies spamming the website with copypasta tweets to get something in trend. Twitter bots are entitled to replicate tasks of authentic Twitter users, which include following other users, liking, and commenting on posts.
Musk spoke about the spam-bots that can be malicious and persuade, bully, and incite users in a Ted talk. In addition, cybercriminals use it to spread malware throughout the platform. These spam-bots also influence political stunts and ideologies.
If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2022
7. Musk to welcome Donald Trump back on Twitter
Elon Musk wishes to ‘reverse the permanent ban’ of Donald Trump on Twitter.
Although Trump is firm not to return on Twitter and stay on ‘Truth.’ This could be a game-changer for all the ones banned earlier on Twitter.
8. Musk to serve as the temporary CEO of Twitter Elon Musk might take over as the interim CEO for a few months post-acquisition of the social media company. Musk is also the CEO of Tesla Inc and heads two of his other ventures, SpaceX and The Boring Company. Ideally, Parag Agrawal is supposed to serve the role of CEO until the deal finishes. Read more.
Musk’s Twitter disruption and the after-effects in the digital marketing landscape
Every digital marketer knows that the digital marketing landscape keeps changing.
Creating and executing a social media marketing campaign is challenging due to new algorithmic changes happening over time.
Most small businesses or startups outsource their social media marketing services to manage the ROI and workload in the long run. By striking down the spam-bots, unethical social media marketers, and manipulative advertisers, a massive chunk of content spamming might result in inactive accounts. The Twitter transition is an evolutionary step for freelance marketers and businesses with affordable social media marketing services. However, the free speech policy may result in a disadvantage to brand messaging on the social media platform.
To sum this up, there are both pros and cons regarding Musk’s Twitter acquisition, and digital marketers have to be more attentive to the upcoming moves.
Twitter has always been a powerful micro-blogging tool. Still, Musk being the new king of Twitter, we can expect more opportunities for marketers to connect with regular Twitter users and devise more efficient & effective marketing campaigns.
We can predict that Twitter will evolve with new and robust features for social media marketers.
Will all this result in a drop in Twitter’s users?
Most followed accounts on Twitter, namely former President Barack Obama and singer Katy Perry, dropped by thousands.
The deactivations come as Twitter users worry that Musk’s approach to free speech will lead to more conflicting tweets and less stringent policies on abusive and threatening content.
Why has Elon Musk put the Twitter deal on hold?
Musk tweeted that the deal is on hold until he gets a deep-dive over the number of fake accounts. 5% of the reported accounts are proven to be fake/spam.
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
This resulted in Twitter losing its complete gains; shares of Twitter fell more than 20 percent in pre-market trading. Under the leadership of Elon Musk, whether Twitter can be a success or a washout is a question in light.
To sum up, Musk is contractually obliged to pay Twitter a $1 billion break-up fee if he does not complete the deal. Musk’s Twitter thread with Parag Agrawal, clearly explains most spam campaigns on Twitter use a combination of humans and automation, rather than being primarily led by bots. Dissecting genuine and fake accounts can be complicated. Musk is hereby left with ‘take it or leave it.‘
Written by Ashay Chandekar from Socinova. Images have the copyrights of the respective sources.