The scene: After a particularly rocky 2023, Twitter’s near-term future remains a major source of speculation. Elon Musk’s management style aside, there’s no denying that he has a (non-Twitter) track record of success and many business leaders see him as a visionary.
Musk's takeover brings a potentially transformative opportunity for the underperforming but iconic platform. Here’s a look at possibilities some see going forward.
Free speech versus brand safety: Musk’s initial statements during his protracted takeover focused on his antipathy toward content moderation and restrictions. In 2023, Musk will “position Twitter as the standard of what the social media landscape ‘should’ look like from a moderation standpoint,” said Diana Lee, co-founder and CEO of global marketing technology company Constellation.
Social media fragments further: Even before Musk's purchase, Twitter was a challenged advertising platform. “Advertising will perform better when there can be relevant messages delivered to groups that share the same interests and values,” said Doron Gerstel, CEO of ad tech firm Perion. An ad for wine belongs on a platform for wine lovers, an ad for an Arctic cruise on a travel platform, and so on.
It’s a bird, it’s a super app: We’ve previously discussed Musk’s ambitions to turn Twitter into a super app like WeChat, but it’s far easier said than done. There is the privacy issue, and significant investment dollars would be required to make it happen—which is more difficult with advertisers fleeing “and with Apple taking a very ‘what's in it for us’ stand,” as Adludio CEO Paul Coggins puts it.
Web3 renaissance: Twitter could serve “as a verification source, enabling something similar to a global ID system,” said Aaron Rafferty, CEO of digital collectibles firm BattlePACs. Rafferty notes that more blockchain applications have begun to integrate this feature.
The big takeaway: Apart from going private, Twitter didn’t really change that much as a platform in 2022. Expect more substantial changes in the year ahead.
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