Is Elon Musk Experimenting with Twitter?

Business

When in doubt, turn to Twitter. This seems to be Elon Musk’s motto in life. And that is exactly what he did when he wanted to know what his followers thought about him as the Twitter CEO.

Well, the poll did not turn out to be quite what Musk hoped for and today, he promised his followers that he will step down as soon as he found someone foolish enough to take the job. With over 122 million followers, Musk is quite popular on Twitter.

The social media platform has been constantly in the limelight ever since Musk acquired it for $44 billion in late October

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Elon Musk is currently the CEO of Twitter, Tesla, and SpaceX. (Elon Musk at GTC 2015; Image Credit – Nvidia Corporation/ Flickr)

A Timeline of Elon Musk’s Twitter Moves

Musk’s Twitter takeover deal was anything but smooth. Running the platform seems to have met the same fate. Twitter has faced severe backlash for its layoffs, content moderation policies, and even Musk’s neglect of Tesla.

Musk prepares Twitter users for “dumb things” – November 9

Within 10 days of taking charge of Twitter, Musk informed his followers that Twitter will adopt a trial and error approach to figure out what works.

He posted that the company would retain what works and that users must be prepared for some wacky stuff.

Musk admits he is overworked – November 14

In a since deleted tweet, Musk had admitted to staying at the social media site’s San Francisco headquarters. He revealed that he will be working and sleeping there until the “org is fixed.”

In a video call for a B20 business conference in Indonesia the self-appointed Chief Twit admitted that he is overworked. “I have too much work on my plate, that is for sure.”

He added, “I work as hard as I can. From morning to evening, seven days a week.” The Chief Twit’s unique style of leadership involves working long hours at high intensity.

Plan to relaunch Twitter’s blue subscription – November 15

The billionaire CEO announced that Twitter’s blue subscription will be relaunched on November 29.

He mentioned that it will cost users $8 per month for the subscription service. However, as the site was ill prepared to deal with mischief-makers its eventual launch resulted in big companies losing millions and 

Musk hires hacker to fix security function – November 17

It all started with a tweet from popular hacker George Hotz. Although Musk and Hotz had previously argued over Tesla, the hacker offered to work at Twitter if the company paid off his cost of living in San Francisco.

Shortly after, Musk replied to his post and hired Hotz to fix Twitter’s search function. Hotz has drawn up an ambitious plan and wants to finish off his project in under 12 weeks.

Twitter 2.0 – December 2022

Musk launched the Twitter verification system with different colored ticks for individual accounts and companies.

On December 1, it was announced that recommended feeds will be rolled out to all users, so that they can discover new content on Twitter 2.0.

Disgruntled Twitter employees have taken to Blind (a community app to provide anonymous workplace reviews) to voice their dissatisfaction at Musk’s running of the social media platform. Many employees have complained of long hours and a lack of transparency in processes.

By December 12, Musk had disbanded the Trust and Safety Council, which called his content moderation policies into question. Council members accused Musk of behaving high-handedly and shunning dialog.

Musk has also promised to increase the character count to 4,000, from the current 280. 

Musk plans to step down as Chief Twit – December 19

On December 19, netizens found themselves subject to a poll on whether Musk should step down as Chief Twit. An overwhelming 57% voted Yes.

The Tesla CEO had promised to abide by the public verdict, and seems not to have been prepared for the result.

He later announced that he is on the lookout for a new Twitter CEO and will step down as soon as he finds one.

Twitter Blue for companies – December 20

On December 20, Musk announced that apart from the golden tick, Twitter Blue for Business will show a square badge next to their account names to validate key personnel and official brand accounts.

Twitter’s product manager Esther Crawford said the social media platform is launching a pilot program for Blue for Business with select businesses. The company will roll it out to others next year.

He has then launched another poll on the omnibus spending bill, most likely to take the heat off of him.

For now, Musk appears to be focusing on building Twitter 2.0 into a money-making machine that can increase user interaction and attract advertisers. As he continues to rebuild the microblogging site, twitterati will have to wait and watch how their “townhall” changes.

Meanwhile, many Twitter users have started exploring Mastodon for its ad-free and community focused model. Although Musk has repeatedly denied that Twitter is losing active users, there is no denying that mastodon has been growing in popularity. As an open-source software that is being worked on by its community, it might just overtake Twitter if the microblogging site is not careful.

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