Usbek & Rica – Loss, rebirth… Three scenarios for the future of Twitter

Above all, to increase Twitter’s revenue, Elon Musk decided to make the certification of so-called accounts “payable”. real “where” certified “. Users with the famous blue dot next to their ID will now have to pay $8 per month. Unlike the system put in place by the previous management team, all accounts will now get this badge – no only governments, businesses, politicians, etc. A drastic change that has already given rise to several excesses and other attempts at manipulation, but whose financial viability can only be assessed for a few months. Until then, it will be possible to achieve has Twitter hit its (new) financial targets?No one is more certain.

The tipping (probably)

Despite the strict economic goals, Elon Musk believes that it is time to breathe new life into his favorite social network, which he himself has always used compulsively. Among the many changes announced by the billionaire, the creation of ” more flexible » the moderation policy in particular made a lot of noise. While promising not to do Twitter ” a hellish place open to all, where anything can be said without consequence “, Musk has brought back rapper Kanye West (now named Ye), who was suspended in October after anti-Semitic remarks. A button to edit tweets is also in the testing phase inside a few weeks in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It should be soon in the United States and its generalization” sped up “, according to Time.

Separately, Musk said that users will soon be able to choose what they see on the network. according to their preferences, in the same way that you can for example watch movies or play video games for all ages “. ” The tweet rank itself can be automatically selected and then changed by user comments “, he advanced without further details. In recent months, the billionaire has also mentioned the possibility of setting up end-to-end encryption in Twitter’s private messaging system, as well as integrating the platform into a more global application called X, a kind of “mega” network. social that will integrate all the functions of daily life (transportation, payment, communication, etc.). There are many announcements to be take with a grain of salt, Elon Musk is particularly used to spectacular declarations deferred to Greek calendars.

In any case, many personalities quickly responded to these disturbances, such as Jillian C. York, director of the branch for international freedom of expression within the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview given to the chain AlJazeera: ” Elon Musk says he wants to respect the laws of every country [dans lequel l’application est implantée]but what does this mean for a country like Saudi Arabia for example? “. ” The real question is whether Musk’s commitment to ‘free speech’ will extend beyond America’s conservatives and reach the billions of people in the Global South who rely on the internet to keep communications open. “, added journalist Lydia Polgreen in a column published on the site of New York Times.

Beyond the wave of departures – still quite relative – observed since the end of October in Western countries, in the long term, the danger for Twitter is its competitors (any of those in the area (such as Mastodon or Reddit, or those under development such as Bluesky) benefit from this windfall effect. And thus transform Twitter into a platform among others, which will no longer have the status of “leader” of the meme market, trends and public statements.

collapse (thinkable)

There remains a darker scenario, which Musk himself mentioned in an internal meeting that took place last week: bankruptcy. ” Bankruptcy is not excluded “, he told his teams, estimating that, depending on the length and severity of the recession, the company could lose several billion dollars next year. Internally, according to testimonies reported by expert journalist Casey Newton, employees do not hesitate to make black humor in the situation, sometimes by publishing polls ” Is it too early for vodka? on Slack, sometimes expressing their dismay publicly… on Twitter.

Musk’s takeover of the company was so brutal and poorly planned that it didn’t even properly reach the company’s official accounts. After spending $44 billion to acquire Twitter, Musk and his team can’t even tweet from the @twitter account. The team finally gained access to the account on Wednesday, but @twitter has been silent since October 13 “says Casey Newton again in his newsletter. Somewhat pessimistic, the journalist does not hesitate to conclude that, because of ” turn of events », « a world where Twitter is entirely silent is no longer quite conceivable.

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