Twitter, the platform that once helped fuel The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street is now possessed by the richest man in the world i.e, Elon Musk. It’s obvious you have to wonder what impact it’s going to have.
There are so many open queries about how the company will change under Elon Musk’s oversight. Will he make it better, using his sharp intelligence and business savvy to navigate changes that have been overdue for years, or will he try to withdraw some of the safeguards against harassment and misinformation that have been put in place to take the edge off its worst impulses?
Well, he does seem to be determined to work on it, here’s the tweet from Elon,
The $44 Billion Deal
On Monday billionaire Elon Musk struck a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, terminating its run as a public company since 2013.
Twitter Inc CEO Parag Agrawal would gain an estimated $42 million if he were sacked within 12 months of a change in control.
Musk in a securities filing on April 14 had said he did not have faith in Twitter’s management.
Based on Musk’s offering price of $54.20 per share and terms in the company’s recent proxy statement, the deal estimate includes a year’s worth of Agrawal’s base salary and also accelerated vesting of all equity awards, although reports suggest that a Twitter member declines this estimate on the deal.
Agrawal, once Twitter’s chief technology officer, was named CEO in November. His total wages for 2021 were $30.4 million, according to Twitter’s proxy, largely in stock awards.
Twitter was a place with a spirit of fun and goodwill. This is something that may be hard for a lot of individuals to believe now. That was before the marketers discovered it, and long before the haters flexed it into a highly politicized cesspool, a shelter for scoundrels, manipulators, and outright liars.
Circulating lies and misinformation is not a recent phenomenon. Social media outlets like Twitter simply made it a whole lot easier to do. A quote stands out in this context,
“A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.”
Regardless, at one time, when we were a lot more optimistic, we saw social media in general as a great offset where you could interact with rock stars, politicians, and executives in a great open town square where rankings were flattened by the medium, but that was before the hideous underside began to show itself. Slowly at first, and then in a rushing torrent of negativity, we all saw the downfall of Twitter.
Elon Musk – A Messiah For The Twitter?
The platform, like much of social media, began to cave to its worst impulses i.e. harassment, doxxing, threats of rape and murder, a refuge for misinformation and racism. So, the question is,
Will Elon Musk owning twitter going to make any difference? i.e. will he make it better, worse, or both in different ways?
The truth is that we don’t exactly know what’s going to happen, but when the richest man in the world purchases a well-known online social gathering place, it’s not difficult to imagine him making it into his own image of what online social media should look like.
Brent Leary, founder, and principal analyst at CRM Essentials, who has been on the platform for a long-time shares his concerns, he said that having one person in control leaves Twitter dangerously susceptible to abuse or misusage.
Further leary emphasized How active could he be in using his latest ‘toy’ in supporting people he wants to see in the office get their messages out, as well as how he may hamper/cripple/ban rivals from using the platform. The same thing applies to probable business competitors. How many will feel the necessity to kiss the ring in order to have complete access to the power of the channel?
Potential Outcomes–What’s Next?
In the worst-case scenario, Musk could make Twitter his own private social playground. In the best case, he will work to enhance some of the longstanding difficulties that have haunted the platform for years. In a statement Elon Musk said that he desires to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, beating the spambots, and authenticating all people.
Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research is more hopeful about the future with Musk in charge. He mentions that- Elon Musk is coming back to where he started i.e. back to software. He believes that it will be key to make sure that Twitter operates independently and that musk is only going to improve the offering.
Further, he adds that the move will make shareholders optimistic(who still have to agree to sell their stock to him) and the same goes for the advertisers. He has boosted the platform with his presence as more individuals will want to check what he is tweeting. Hogler thinks that we will see a number of software innovations including an edit button, maybe threaded conversations, and even better business with moderation, and audience management.
Elon Musk is at his heart a businessman and he’s spending a lot of money to buy this latest bauble. You would think that he would enjoy getting a solid return on his investment, and on a platform that uses DAUs and MAUs as currency, you don’t want to be pushing people away.
Whether people leave or stay, whether Elon Musk is a generous dictator or oppressor, only time will tell. All we know now is that he plans to own Twitter, and he will be mostly free to do what he wants with it.
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