Public Relations


The takeover of Twitter and what it might mean

November 2022

Reading time: 4 minute(s).

In the history of acquisitions, it is unlikely that one buy-out has caused so many headlines.

But, just like Midas who turned everything he touched into gold, the mighty Elon Musk seems to have the same effect, but with column inches, instead of precious metals.

Censorship ban

Musk, best known for inventing Tesla, launching SpaceX and creating The Boring Company, can now add social media to his ever-expanding portfolio of businesses after he purchased Twitter.

The twists and turns of the takeover have been epic, with legal rows, online spats and public reneging on done deals being played out for the world to see.

But, now that Musk has declared himself ‘Chief Twit’ of the micro-blogging site, what does the business mogul have up his sleeve for the platform?

One key theme that Musk has remained consistent with is his insistence that Twitter should be about free speech.

In recent years, the likes of Katie Hopkins, Kanye West, David Icke and Donald Trump have all been suspended or banned because their posts were deemed controversial, upsetting or hateful.

But, Musk maintains that censorship is not part of his plan, calling free speech the “bedrock of a functioning democracy”.

With comments like that, it is unlikely Musk will continue following Twitter’s strict policies on hateful conduct, particularly as his first day in the job involved sacking the company’s CEO, CFO and the head of legal policy, trust and safety.

Blue tick charges

Musk has made no secret of the fact that he believes Twitter could double its current revenue, which might be rather necessary given the inflated £39.42bn ($44bn) he paid for the platform.

Reports have already suggested that the blue tick function, commonly used to verify an account owned by a high-profile person, could become chargeable.

It is thought Musk wants to charge £7 ($8) a month to users who want to keep the blue tick on their account.

There are also rumours that a subscription service will be introduced for users to access special Twitter features.


Vine revival

There is talk among well-placed sources that Musk is considering reviving Vine, which was acquired by Twitter in 2012. That theory has also been backed up after he ran a poll about it on his Twitter account.

The site, which shut down in 2016, hosted six-second-long video clips.

The site’s popularity grew helping to launch the careers of several content creators such as Andrew Bachelor, also known as King Bach, who had 19 million followers at his peak.

However, since the demise of Vine, TikTok has gained favour so whether there is space for Vine remains to be seen.

Eagerly awaiting the edit

Twitter has confirmed that the much-yearned for ‘edit’ button is being created. For years, users have called for a way to edit posts because at the moment the only way of rectifying a mistake is to delete the tweet and start again.

Musk recently ran a poll on his account asking his followers whether they wanted an edit button. More than 4.4m people responded with 73.6 per cent of them voting in favour.

Although there is still some uncertainty about the long-term plans Musk has for Twitter, one thing is for sure, that the micro-blogging site is not going anywhere.

With 396.5m users using the platform globally, when used correctly, the site can be a powerful tool for brand messaging and service promotion.

November 2022 | Laura Pearce