03 November 2022 |
Media and Advertising Industry
On the 28th of October, Elon Musk finalized his acquisition of Twitter, marking a new era for the company and causing an immediate freeze on Twitter stock on the NYSE as it begins the process of delisting. From there and almost from the word go, Musk blazed through a series of sweeping moves which included a series of c-suite layoffs and a homepage change directive.
What does the sale to Elon Musk mean for the Twitter platform?
Immediately, we see that Musk has shown himself to be a proactive change agent intent on imposing his will onto the platform as soon as he can. This is almost documented behavior for Musk but so is his unpredictability, which showed even in the purchase of Twitter as he went back and forth on his commitment over the year. All these show that we can expect so much more coming to the platform.
What we are left with after the initial volley is a frozen code base, visible discomfort and a series of speculations about the next moves as the company collectively waits for Elon to address the employees and take them through his plans. In my opinion, this is something that we should continually expect from the platform in the coming months as more and more changes are trialed, tested, and potentially reversed. For advertisers, this may mean more acting in more risk-averse behaviour until the direction for the platform stabilises or at least as Musk’s grand plan becomes more concrete.
What does Elon Musk hope to do with Twitter?
While it is still too early to be certain, Musk’s previous actions and how he’s started with Twitter so far do tell us to expect more changes on the way. For example, one potential area is related to digital revenue sharing such as Apple’s in-app purchases program where Musk has previously expressed concerns about the cost of fees Apple charges on top of transactions. As Twitter inevitably looks to further its monetisation and revenue options, this may be an area that may affect how it operates and therefore how campaigns on the platform, especially e-commerce-enabled ones can run.
Another potential is how sentiment and moderation could change on the platform which will naturally have dramatic effects on advertising. Musk has been found to suggest that he would like to make changes to the policies regarding how speech is moderated on Twitter. His point of view here combined with the countless examples of outbursts on the platform throughout the years creates an area of uncertainty about the opinion and expression that will take shape on the platform.
Finally, Musk has also talked about monetising the use of Twitter for government and corporations. Although there are no specific plans for this, as ultimately Musk is just tweeting these thoughts, now that he has control we can still consider some potential changes that may occur as user tiers happen on the platform. Will advertising campaigns incur additional fees? Will there be a verification tick maintenance cost? Will the paid tier come with a different set of rules for moderation? These are just a few speculations we can have with each tweet from Elon Musk.
In summary, Elon’s highly vocal presence in the social media world has always been widely felt but now that he has formalized a foothold in the market, we need to be mindful of the waves this change agent has the potential to create.
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