The past October 28, Elon Musk officially bought Twitter. Since then, we have heard everything.
What are Elon Musk’s intentions?
In the first place, Musk intends to return neutrality to the platform, meaning that as long as a message or content does not violate the laws, it can remain on the platform. According to Twitter reports, in 2021, governments made 43,387 legal demands for removing content from 196,878 accounts; Twitter took care of 54% of these requests by banning users or demanding the removal of said messages.
This data makes it clear that until now, freedom of expression was not a priority for Twitter, and giving a voice to all users, regardless of their political positions, it seems, is Musk’s first objective.
In the same way, and closely related to this vision of a social media platform open to all, Musk intends to make the algorithms “open source” to make public the programming code with which Twitter works. This data, which might seem merely technical, is essential since, through the code, you can glimpse the mechanisms Twitter uses when recommending certain users to follow messages or ads.
Finally, Twitter is a multi-billion dollar loss maker, and Musk intends to optimize its monetization by rethinking the business model. The payment for the blue check, that is, the verification of the account, is one of the measures that he proposes, and in a certain sense, it rethinks how advertisers should relate to Twitter. In the same way, according to news from Marketingdirecto, internal leaks indicate that content creators can raise paywalls for some of their content.
But how will this affect brands?
These new modes of close interaction between creator and public (a model similar to Onlyfans) inevitably affect brands, which from now on will have to select much more carefully the media and creators through which they want to direct their audience.
Let’s say that the arrival of Musk alters how the social media platform offers content to its users. Right now, Twitter user receives very targeted content every day. What we call the “echo chambers” thanks to the recommended algorithms, the user consumes what the platforms believe is of their interest. What does this do? It generates a perfect bubble of specific related content. This bubble is a direct beneficial ecosystem for brands that could know precisely where their audience was. Since Elon Musk’s arrival, he has proposed to erase this bubble and bring new neutrality and transparency that will reign inside Twitter, making it more difficult for brands to define where the audience is.
The Greek agora has often been used as an analogy to talk about Twitter. The restrictions had made Twitter a segmented platform where users had their own space, different from the rest. This distinction made it possible to know who was not interested in the advertising message, but after Musk’s purchase, this changed. Twitter is about to become a bustling and mixed place, inevitably making it difficult for brands to work.
The rise of Decentralized social media
According to our report about the reinvention of brand communities, we are seeing how new decentralized social media platforms are continually appearing.
This makes total sense. The majority of social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and their mechanisms prevented a more intimate relationship between their users in many cases. Some new social media platforms like Reddit, Discord, Counter Social or Mastodon are on the rise.
Mastodon and CounterSocial- These two social media platforms are a kind of Twitter with some limitations. In both, the tracking, the bots, the trolls, and everything considered disinformation is controlled. CounterSocial prevents connecting with suspicious countries such as China or Russia. Mastodon and CounterSocial are open-sourced, one of the measures Musk intends for Twitter.
Almost all of these new platforms have something in common, the ability to form communities that are much more active and aware of their interests. On one hand, this makes it easier for the advertiser who can know exactly where their audience is. On the other hand, it makes its task difficult since the message it wants to get across must be in close communion with the groups he wants to address.
The decentralization of social media undoubtedly speaks to us of the decentralization of advertisers. Until now, any channel with an audience was suitable for an advertiser; from now on, it will be much more necessary to know where potential consumers are. And we should adapt the message depending on the platform and choose the channel rigorously.