Elon Musk took control of Twitter, worth $44 billion dollars, on 25th April 2022, and sent the social media world into a frenzy.
The billionaire has become the head of the micro-blogging site and is committed to amending new changes within three years. However, how does the takeover impact businesses around the world?
In today’s digital world where brands need to constantly engage with their audiences, Twitter has proven to be an effective and secure platform for consumers to react and voice their opinions about brands, a powerful customer service tool, and a platform for many to have their say on important issues (are we all ready for #LoveIsland to start?). A staggering 192 million users surf Twitter each day with brands like Starbucks, Dominos, PlayStation, and KFC successfully creating content and actively engaging with their audiences.
With Elon Musk at the ship’s helm, there are rumours of him moving away from the traditional methods for businesses on Twitter, despite the fact that the platform is widely utilised by organisations, with more than 92% of companies tweeting more than once a day. Any changes to the core Twitter model will undoubtably mean that companies need to adapt their processes and strategies for future tweeting.
What changes is Elon Musk planning to make to Twitter?
After leading a massive buyout of shares of Twitter, the world’s richest man indicated in a tweet that he will be charging a ‘slight’ fee for organisations that employ Twitter as part of their communication strategies.
This move will be a tad controversial as Twitter currently doesn’t charge for business accounts but uses paid ads as a source of revenue.
Although, it may not impact businesses massively, it may motivate them to shift their business to other favourable platforms such as Facebook or TikTok.
If brands are less eager to use Twitter as a customer communications channel, it may cause upset within their audience. Figures show that in the last two years there has been almost three times more users using Twitter for customer service conversations that ever before.
Though Musk will be initiating this ‘slight cost’ as a measure to increase the revenue of his new business, it will be interesting to see how brands may be affected, both from a financial and day-to-day perspective.
Freedom of speech or a free pass to hate-mongering?
Elon Musk has been an ardent opponent of the strict content guidelines that Twitter has historically enforced and has constantly spoken against the platform silencing certain users, including Donald Trump, on the platform. More recently, Musk made some controversial comments when he shared that once his takeover was complete, he would allow Trump back on the platform.
CNN reported that several multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola (CCEP), Disney (DIS), and Kraft (KHC) were already receiving calls to boycott Twitter from all sections of society. Dozens of civil groups demanded that companies get assurances from Twitter that they will uphold content moderation guidelines as these organisations are the top advertisers on the platform.
This could influence organisations, from small start-ups to global corporations, to pull out from the channel as they may not be keen to be associated with Twitter’s new guidelines.
This move could also affect establishments that are reliant on Twitter ads to further their growth, as promoting their brand on an unregulated site may tarnish their reputation.
To crypto or not to crypto?
Cryptocurrency has taken the financial world by storm in recent months, and Mr. Musk is not far behind in the revolution. He surprised his followers on Twitter by suggesting that Twitter may accept Dogecoin, a meme-based bitcoin rival for Twitter’s $3 per month paid service, Twitter Blue.
This could enable organisations to pay their fees without any fear of taxes or regulations. An introduction of Dogecoin would boost understanding and interest in the new technology among organisations and Twitter users, and could implement a simple, real-time, and secure money transferring process.
Although the use of cryptocurrency may attract some, it may also be cause for concern. Crypto is a highly unregulated market with no authority to watch over the transactions.
With the UK government introducing legislation this year to regulate the crypto industry and Elon Musk being invited by the UK parliament to talk about his newly-acquired Twitter deal, it will be interesting to witness how these events unfold in the course of time and how they impact social media and financial legislation, if at all.
Though it could be risky to eliminate all content moderation guidelines on the platform or fully introduce a cryptocurrency model, only time will tell how businesses will be affected by the Musk era of Twitter.