It is no secret that Elon Musk made a gambit for Twitter–
To use cheesy metaphors (which we just so happen to love over here at SizzleForce): If Musk and Twitter were dating, he just got on his knees and proposed… a hefty $44 billion deal.
And up until recently, the happy couple was in the prenup negotiation phase….
Until Elon broke up with Twitter (or is, at least, trying to).
Twitter doesn’t seem to be handing back the diamond ring just yet–in fact, they are taking Elon to court.
But where did this match seemingly made in heaven go so astray? What were Elon’s reasons for getting cold feet? According to CNBC, most concerns surround fake accounts, shareholder approval, and debt financing.
It seems Elon isn’t much interested in taking on a platform full of spam and fake accounts–which makes sense. Monetizing a platform requires not just actual users–but active users.
But looking at the bigger picture–what could Elon Musk taking over Twitter mean for marketers?
Because if it isn’t Twitter–who knows–
It could be another social media platform altogether. Or what if Elon puts aside space travel and invents a social media platform all his own? He has certainly shown interest in doing so…
Elon Musk, the same man who wants to send your average Joe to the moon and colonize Mars….
The same man that taught himself to program in 3 days…
The same man who might just revolutionize your morning commute (think, taking a HyperLoop commute to another city entirely)…
What might such an innovative thinker at the helm of a social media platform look like?
Nobody can know for sure, but here’s what has been said so far… plus a bit of speculation.
1. Paid Accounts (Maybe)… For Some
Twitter Blue offers paid subscribers premium features such as an “untweet” option, ad-free articles, and more. But what might paid subscription models look like under Mr. Musk? Well, Elon has publicly stated (via Twitter!) that most accounts would stay free. But certain accounts like government accounts or business accounts might become paid.
2. Fewer Restrictions–Fewer Advertisers?
Musk strongly promotes free speech–but he wanted to see what users thought about the idea of having a less restricted social forum. He went to Twitter to ask: “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” CNET reported that 70% of 2 million respondents said no.
Musk has elaborated that, if done well, Twitter would make both sides of the political forum equally mad–and happy, stating, “a social media platform’s policies are good if the most extreme 10% on left and right are equally unhappy.”
But what does this mean for marketers? It is hard to say. Musk himself still has to answer to shareholders, so it is unlikely that Twitter will turn into a free-for-all. But in the aftermath, advertisers might be less likely to spend their money on the platform.
You know. Just in case someone says something really unappetizing that just so happens to land in the Twitter feed next to your unassuming applesauce ad.
But in any case–it seems safe to say that any Elon Musk social media platform would look a bit like the Wild, Wild West.
3. Say Yes To Take-backsies?
Users have long complained that there is no edit on a tweet–once you post it, you’re toast if you notice a typo. Musk has, once again, gone to the Twitter polls to see what people think. More than 70% are in favor of adding an edit button (p.s. is that “yse” an intentional typo we see there, Elon, to further drill in your point?).
Marketers rejoice as mistakes can be fixed–before clients fire them for egregious grammar faux pas.
So one thing we would likely see in an Elon Musk Twitter (or other social media) universe is an “Edit” button.
4. Open-Source Algorithms
It is no secret that the all-powerful algorithms dictate how your carefully-crafted post gets fed to the teeming masses of social media. But in a theoretical Elon Musk Twitter world, that algorithm might be a bit less mysterious than other platforms. In fact, Elon has stated that he wants that algorithm to be open source–which means that there will be more audience participation in how that algorithm works (what this would actually look like in practicality is hard to say). At the very least, an open-source algorithm would mean more transparency. If your tweet gets demoted, under this plan–you could probably have a pretty good idea of why instead of playing the guessing game.
5. Less Spam Bots
Fewer spam bots could improve user experience–because who enjoys getting spammed by fake cryptocurrency scams? Nobody.
A crackdown on spambots could mean Twitter takes more measures to verify its users are human. Which, when it comes to the total number of users on the platform, means that number might go down.
But if Elon goes his own way–we would put out bets on hefty verification methods to make sure that users are actually humans on any social media platform he creates. Sorry, bots.
Marketing In An Elon Musk Twitter World
Twitter is the platform sometimes thought of as the “newswire” for the world. If you think about it, so many news tidbits started on Twitter. It has become a sort of “You heard it here first” water cooler for everyone from celebrities to politicians to CEOs.
As a sort of “public relations” social network, Twitter isn’t going anywhere. If Elon Musk decides to take over Twitter after all, things will get, at the very least, be interesting.
And if he doesn’t? We have some clues as to what a theoretical social media platform with him at the helm might look like.
Curious to explore this new social media frontier? Wondering if Twitter is where you need to take your marketing messaging? Or if it is even worth your time?
If you are not sure where to start, or where to put your energy when it comes to marketing, this free quiz can help.