It’s unhealthily addictive, mean-spirited, dangerous. Democrats despise the soapbox given to bigots and trolls. Republicans recoil at restrictions on free speech. Independents wonder why we can’t all just get along.
Yet disgruntled Twitter users (myself included) remain in the microblogging service’s thrall. Twitter’s daily active user jumped 13% year over year by the end of 2021, hitting 217 million worldwide, as U.S. customers stayed loyal and international growth continued at a decent clip. The platform remains the go-to outlet for dialogue among the elite class. Aspiring rivals, particularly on the political right, haven’t found any real traction.
Enter Elon Musk. As multiple reports emerged Monday morning that the Tesla CEO is nearing a $43 billion acquisition of the company, some Twitter faithful broke out the Hellmo meme and some choice expletives to express their disappointment in the development. (Twitter’s board likely had little choice but to accept, given Musk’s premium price and the company’s flagging financials.)
While Musk hasn’t disclosed much about his precise plans for Twitter, the world’s wealthiest man has framed his attempted takeover as a free-speech crusade designed to protect the public square from corporate and woke interests. Twitter diehards, particularly on the political left, counter that a Musk-led platform will further amplify degrading, dehumanizing content.
Barring a last-minute reversal, which remains possible, Musk’s buyout will leave his antagonists with a dilemma: whether to ditch Twitter or tolerate its inevitable libertarian lean.
To which I ask: Where will you go?
Despite the democratization of the internet, our social media ecosystem remains remarkably consolidated. And in this case, no platform comes close to mirroring the audience and attributes of Twitter.
Want to fly off to Facebook? Enjoy the deluge of baby photos, QAnon posts, and little-too-on-the-nose advertising.
Thinking about imbibing on Instagram or trying out TikTok? Good luck having a meaningful conversation about politics, sports, or business.
Ready for Reddit? If you abhor anonymous Twitter trolls, just you wait.
Musk’s impending acquisition does crack open the door for more competition, allowing an upstart to seize on frustration with his version of Twitter.But the attraction of Twitter remains its ubiquity within concentrated cultural, political, and media circles.
In today’s hyperpartisan, demographically fractured environment, it’s hard to envision a so-called public square app reaching a similar scale. While TikTok and Instagram have grown massively in the past several years, their success respectively owes in large part to a rather homogenous demographic (in TikTok’s case, young and liberal-leaning) and an avoidance of controversial issues (in Instagram’s case, by focusing on photos and short video). In contrast, aspiring Twitter slayers catering solely to Republicans—Gettr, Parler, and Truth Social—have failed to make a dent.
For all the hand-wringing over Twitter, we keep coming back because it’s the best, largest place where we can share collective experiences and fight over ideas. At its best, Twitter serves as a gateway to the wider internet, opening our minds to thoughts and perspectives we otherwise would miss. We use Twitter precisely because it’s not a meaningless diversion or wholly partisan echo chamber. We use it because it’s simultaneously effortless, diverse, and important.
This, ultimately, is what Musk is buying: a dedicated user base that highly values the product, no matter how much we grumble about it.
Musk might mess with content moderation or start charging everyone for subscriptions. He might kill crypto bots and deluge us with 420 jokes. Lord help our national psyche, he might even bring back @realdonaldtrump.
But until a better alternative comes along, I expect most Twitter users will respond to Musk’s ownership by doing what we do best: shouting about how much we hate Twitter, then hitting the refresh button.
Planning to ditch an Musk-led Twitter? Resigned to feeding your Twitter addiction no matter who’s in charge? Excited for Elon’s potential arrival? Drop me a line here.
The deal is done. European Union officials secured a final agreement Saturday on the landmark Digital Services Act, which will force the world’s largest tech companies to moderate more content and disclose new information about their operations, the Associated Press reported. The deal brings months of negotiations over new online regulations to a close, delivering a blow to Alphabet, Meta, and other tech giants that fought against the legislation. European Union member countries are expected to formally approve the agreement later this year, with the updated policies set to take effect by the end of 2023.
The friendly skies. SpaceX signed its first deal with a commercial airline to provide in-flight wireless internet service via the company’s Starlink satellites, Reuters reported Monday. The Elon Musk–led outfit is partnering with Hawaiian Airlines to offer Starlink service on the airline’s trans-Pacific flights, starting in 2023. SpaceX inked a similar deal with semiprivate jet service JSX last week, and the Wall Street Journal reported last Monday that Delta Air Lines is exploring a potential agreement with the Tesla CEO’s company.
No longer gaming’s vanguard? Video game developer Activision Blizzard fell well short of first-quarter revenue estimates, the result of underwhelming sales on its latest Call of Duty franchise release, CNBC reported Monday. Analysts projected $1.8 billion in first-quarter adjusted sales, but Activision Blizzard totaled $1.48 billion amid low demand for Call of Duty: Vanguard. The miss did not impact Activision Blizzard’s stock price, which has held steady since the January announcement of Microsoft’s planned acquisition of the company for $68.7 billion.
Making an exception. Foxconn’s largest iPhone assembly plant continues to pump out products despite a region-wide, COVID-induced shutdown ordered by the Chinese government, Bloomberg reported Sunday. The Zhengzhou campus remains in operation under a special exemption granted by government officials, who have ordered local residents to remain at home as part of a campaign to eliminate COVID spread. Apple, which reports its quarterly earnings Thursday, has been forced to navigate COVID-related work stoppages and supply shortages in recent months.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Ready to pay up? Investors have pummeled PayPal over the past year, scared off by the reopening of brick-and-mortar stores and an inflation-driven retreat in online merchandise sales. But PayPal’s huge drop in share price, down 72% from a 52-week high set last July, has Wall Street taking a second look at the payments processor, Bloomberg reported Monday. Value-focused investors are forecasting a PayPal rebound by late 2022 or early 2023, though they remain bearish on any immediate gains in the company’s stock price.
From the article:
Wall Street sees the company’s shares jumping 90% over the next year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Only Etsy has a stronger potential return among companies in the S&P 500. PayPal shares rose 0.5% in early trading on Monday.
Brokers are less optimistic in the short term, cutting their aggregate target for PayPal’s share price by half. Yet the stock has been declining even faster, making it a bargain at these levels, according to bullish investors.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Battery prices are soaring. So why are electric vehicles doing record sales?, by Tristan Bove
Crypto millionaires are erecting their own tax-free utopias in Central America. The locals aren’t happy, by Amiah Taylor
A top lithium expert agrees with Elon Musk that there’s not enough of the crucial metal to meet booming demand, by Tristan Bove
The first crypto dating show raised $6 million to build the ‘Netflix’ of Web3 with help from Paris Hilton, by Taylor Locke
Elon Musk says he asked Bill Gates if he shorted Tesla stock, by Bloomberg
As Musk bids For Twitter, his fight to tweet freely hits snag, by Joel Rosenblatt and Bloomberg
BEFORE YOU GO
Electric red Corvette. America’s sports car is going hybrid. General Motors president Mark Reuss told CNBC on Monday that the automaker will start selling a hybrid version of the Chevrolet Corvette sometime in 2023, with an all-electric model to follow at a to-be-determined date. The announcement comes as many rival sports car manufacturers, including Porsche, Ferrari, and Audi, roll out their earliest electric vehicles or announce plans for imminent models. The disclosure also steals a smidgen of spotlight from Ford, which is set to launch its first fully electric pickup truck Tuesday.
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Twitter employees on Friday launched a '#RIPTwitter' trend as hundreds of company's employees are estimated to be leaving the beleaguered social media company. The mass resignation at Twitter comes following an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk that staffers sign up for "long hours at high intensity," or leave.Why did Elon Musk fire all the Twitter employees? ›
Elon Musk laid off more Twitter workers from the sales side of the social network's business beginning late Sunday, further trimming a staff that had already been decimated by cuts and resignations. Last week, Musk had asked workers to commit to his more “hardcore” version of the company or leave.What has Elon said about Twitter? ›
Elon Musk said Monday evening that Twitter is “holding off” the restart of his paid account verification plan over continued concerns of impersonation on the social media platform. “Holding off relaunch of Blue Verified until there is high confidence of stopping impersonation,” Musk wrote in a tweet.How many people quit at Twitter? ›
Some internal estimates showed that at least 1,200 full-time employees resigned on Thursday, three people close to the company said. Twitter had 7,500 full-time employees at the end of October, which dropped to about 3,700 after mass layoffs this month.Is Twitter popularity declining? ›
First of all, Twitter's growth has clearly slowed–and so has that of Facebook. The percentage of Americans who use Twitter rose from 15% to 16% last year, while Facebook's growth appears to have stalled for the time being, remaining at 2013's 58% figure.Why are so many people losing Twitter followers? ›
It is normal to gain and lose followers. People's attention, interests, and behavior change over time. Your content was once attractive for someone, but now it's not anymore. That's how it goes – gaining some followers here, losing some followers there.Why did Elon pull out of buying Twitter? ›
Mr Musk said he had backed out because Twitter failed to provide enough information on the number of spam and fake accounts. Twitter says it plans to pursue legal action to enforce the agreement.How many employees did Elon Musk fire from Twitter? ›
Just over a week after closing the deal, Mr. Musk eliminated nearly half of Twitter's work force, or about 3,700 jobs.Why is Elon Musk against Twitter? ›
Musk's calls for free speech on Twitter focus on two allegations: political bias and excessive moderation. As researchers of online misinformation and manipulation, my colleagues and I at the Indiana University Observatory on Social Media study the dynamics and impact of Twitter and its abuse.What does Elon Musk not like about Twitter? ›
In a letter posted to Twitter (TWTR), Musk said he doesn't want the platform to become a “free-for-all-hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences,” despite his stated promise to rethink on its content moderation policies and bolster “free speech.”
For anyone starting a revolution, or a business, Twitter can be a success. For the rest of the world, it can be a waste of time that doesn't get the message out to people they want to reach. And for some, it's no more a bunch of nonsense limited to 140 characters—as this infographic shows.Is Twitter growing or dying? ›
Our overall audience has continued to grow, reaching 238 million mDAU in Q2 2022," the spokesperson said, using an acronym for monetizable daily active users.What will replace Twitter? ›
- Mastodon. A few months ago, hardly anyone had heard of Mastodon. ...
- Tumblr. ...
- Discord. ...
- Cohost. ...
- Truth Social. ...
- Tribel. ...
- Clubhouse. ...
Twitter has around 450 million monthly active users as of 2022. Twitter has 237.8 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU) as of Q2 2022. United States is the country with the most number of Twitter users. Twitter has 41.5 million monetizable daily active users in the United States.What is the most popular alternative to Twitter? ›
The photo-sharing app has over 1.3 billion users in 2022 and has grown a diverse community of creatives since it was first launched back in 2010.
Although it may fall behind platforms like Facebook and Instagram that have users in the billions, Twitter still has a loyal audience of those that log in on a regular basis. In fact, Twitter sees about 206 million daily active users, ensuring they're always coming back to see what others are tweeting about.Why do I suddenly have 0 followers on Twitter? ›
We're sorry you're having this experience. It's not uncommon to have incorrect follower and following counts if you've reactivated your account in the last 72 hours. If it's been longer than that, we recommend a refresh by logging out of Twitter, then logging back in.Why am I suddenly losing so many followers? ›
It's a sign that you're not helping to grow the community around you or that your content is low quality. The Instagram algorithm favors content with high engagement. If your content doesn't do well, it's less likely to show up in the Explore feed. Low engagement with other accounts can also have an impact.What happens to Twitter stock if Elon buys it? ›
Musk's acquisition of Twitter, he is delisting the company's stock and taking it out of the hands of public shareholders.Why is Elon Musk buying so much Twitter? ›
In April, Elon Musk made an unsolicited bid worth more than $40 billion for the social network, saying he wanted to make Twitter a private company and allow people to speak more freely on the service.
Whoopi Goldberg announced she was logging off (for now) from Twitter while appearing on The View, describing Elon Musk's Twitter as a “mess.” “I'm getting off today,” she said on Nov. 7. “I just feel like it's so messy, and I'm tired of now having had certain kinds of attitudes blocked, and now they're back on.Why did Elon Musk change his mind about Twitter? ›
Why did Musk change his mind on buying Twitter? Early court setbacks may have encouraged him to revive his $44 billion offer. Tesla CEO Elon Musk may have decided to offer to buy Twitter to avoid more embarrassment from an upcoming trial.What has Elon Musk done so far about Twitter? ›
Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, a source familiar with the deal told CNN Thursday, putting the world's richest man in charge of one of the world's most influential social media platforms.What is the number 1 tweet of all time? ›
Though Twitter does not provide a full official list, news and mainstream media often cover the topic. As of November 2022, the most-liked tweet has over 7 million likes and was tweeted from the account of American actor Chadwick Boseman, announcing his death from cancer.Is Twitter or Facebook better? ›
Twitter is primarily meant for sharing informational and succicnt snippets while Facebook is meant for connecting with members of your personal network and sharing more in-depth content..Is Twitter actually useful? ›
Twitter Is User-Friendly
Twitter's design is kept extremely simple, and while you can customize your feed, the topics, and the people you want to keep up with, the platform is straightforward to navigate on both mobile and PC. Its Direct Messaging feature allows you to have conversations with friends and followers.
Interestingly, despite some of the negative press against TikTok, the platform boasts over 1 billion monthly active users compared to Twitter's 330 million. So as a fun experiment, we tested what people think of users of TikTok vs. Twitter.What are 3 benefits of Twitter? ›
- Find out what people are saying about you. ...
- Stay in touch with your community. ...
- Be on top of hot topics. ...
- Discover content inspiration. ...
- Be smarter, better, more informed…
We have an idea or think of something funny (trigger), tweet it out (behavior), and receive likes and retweets (reward). This learning process causes a dopamine rush in reward centers of the brain, the Nucleus Accumbens. The more we do this, the more this behavior gets reinforced.How is Twitter affecting mental health? ›
Our brains were not designed to process this kind of information overload. People on Twitter like to joke about how spending so much time there has given us all brain damage. Being online, or worse, Very Online, can often feel indistinguishable from descending into madness.
In his departure letter, Dorsey said that the business community placed too much emphasis on the value of companies that are led by their founders. “Ultimately, I believe that's severely limiting and a single point of failure,” he wrote.Did employees quit Twitter? ›
Twitter saw a fresh exodus of employees on Thursday as the company hit a deadline set by billionaire owner Elon Musk for remaining staff to commit to being “extremely hardcore” or leave the company.Why are so many Twitter accounts suspended? ›
Learn more about some of the reasons for suspension: Spam: Most of the accounts we suspend are suspended because they are spammy, or just plain fake, and they introduce security risks for Twitter and for everyone using Twitter. These types of accounts are against our Twitter Rules.Who is quitting Twitter? ›
TV powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, "Madam Secretary" actor Téa Leoni and others in the entertainment world say they're dropping the platform after Elon Musk's takeover. Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter has some in Hollywood heading for the exit.Why was Jack forced on Twitter? ›
As I detailed in my book on the early days of Twitter, Hatching Twitter, Dorsey had served as CEO during the company's nascent years, before being kicked out because he had no idea how to run a company.Why are CEOs stepping down? ›
Believe it or not, the CEOs have feelings and emotions that are not too different from the workers in their organizations. Recent studies show that the top executives are joining the Great Resignation in large numbers. They are growing tired of the unrelenting stress, pressure and accompanying burnout.Who bought 9% of Twitter? ›
Musk, the billionaire chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX and the world's wealthiest person, had bought a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, the social media platform where he has over 80 million followers.Is Twitter going to delete inactive accounts? ›
What is Twitter's inactive account policy? We encourage people to actively log in and use Twitter when they register an account. To keep your account active, be sure to log in at least every 6 months. Accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.What are fake accounts called on Twitter? ›
Twitter allows the use of pseudonymous accounts, meaning an account's profile is not required to use the name or image of the account owner. Accounts that use pseudonyms or that appear similar to others on Twitter are not in violation of this policy, so long as their purpose is not to deceive or manipulate others.Can you get around a Twitter ban? ›
You can't circumvent a Twitter suspension, enforcement action, or anti-spam challenge. This includes any behavior intended to evade any Twitter remediation, such as creating a new account or repurposing an already-existing account.
Subsequently, Musk made an unsolicited offer to buy Twitter, Inc. for $43 billion on April 14, 2022. This process went through a number of business and legal confrontations, but ultimately, Musk completed the acquisition on October 27, 2022 for $44 billion. Musk immediately fired the top three Twitter executives.How many people have left Twitter since Elon Musk took over? ›
Twitter may have lost more than a million users since Elon Musk took over | MIT Technology Review.What happens when you quit Twitter? ›
But before your take the leap, it's important to know what happens next. When you deactivate your account, you have 30 days to reactivate it if you change your mind. After 30 days, all your data is deleted. That's why this next step is critical to your Twitter exit strategy.