So, it’s been about a year, or getting close to it now, since Elon took over Twitter, and I have some thoughts.
Whatever you think of Elon, agree or disagree with him- Twitter was (is) in bad shape. It had not seen the user growth Facebook had, and was losing ground to Instagram, a trend that thus far, Musk has not been able to reverse.
Financially, while Musk has always been prone to overstatement, Twitter was clearly bleeding cash in its financial statements. The reality of their situation financially I am sure played into the decision of the board to finally accept Elon’s offer, then to fight to get him to complete the purchase. They really had no choice.
My “Twitter Time” the time that I engaged with the platform in more than a casual way, was 2010/2011. But since that time the platform lost it’s luster, as it became a dumping ground for whatever thought someone had in the moment.
There comes a point where you have to decide where your time is best spent.
Let’s talk about two things-
1) the microblogging piece of X will progressively get pushed to the background as more surrounding features are released. Early on, a lot of people postulated that Elon was looking for the collective data of Twitter’s user base- and I do think there is some truth to that, but I suspect not in the way everyone thought. We’re talking about a guy pushing self driving vehicles, building brain implants and rockets to Mars. The aspirations are probably WAY higher than knowing how many times you logged in to the app or what ad you gave gaze to. Microblogging on the X App 5 years from now will be that cute feature users check to make sure is still there in nostalgia. And by App, I am assuming he doesn’t just get fed up and strike out on his own and start building hardware- cause that could also happen.
2) He is his generation’s Rockfeller, he is one of the industrialists that believe moving humanity forward is worth breaking a few eggs- remember, we’re talking species level aspirations here. People he fires will find new jobs, probably better jobs than the ones he fired them from. Listen to him talk about population growth, you think he’s daft, but it’s all interconnected.
All that being said- X hasn’t moved much. Some people left. Other people joined or came back. As he adds more features, I suspect more people will join. Right now, I’m probably not going to be one of them. That’s not to say I am leaving X entirely, because I am curious about what happens, but the changes made so far have made it just too challenging for me to engage with the platform in a meaningful way.
Which is OK- he paid for it, it’s his to do with as he pleases. I’m going to hang out on Mastodon for awhile.