Elon Musk takes over Twitter but where will he go from here?

Elon Musk takes over Twitter but where will he go from here? thumbnail

Elon Musk took control of Twitter following a lengthy legal battle and months in uncertainty. Now, the question is what the billionaire Tesla CEO will do with the social media platform.

Musk offered one hint about his future plans in a tweet Friday afternoon. He said that no decisions regarding content or reinstating accounts will be made until a council of content moderation is established. He wrote that the council would include diverse viewpoints. Many people expected a shakeup in the

Major staff, with Musk removing several top Twitter executives on Thursday. In a tweet, he confirmed his departure.

But Musk the tech guru and self-proclaimed Chief Twit has made contradictory statements regarding his vision for the company and shared few concrete plans for how it will run after he bought it for $44 trillion. That has left Twitter’s users and advertisers to try to figure out where he might take it. Many are curious to see if he will accept back some of the influential conservative figures who were banned from Twitter’s rules. This speculation is only amplified by the upcoming elections in Brazil, America and elsewhere.

” I will be digging deeper today,” he tweeted early Friday in response to a conservative podcaster who claimed that Twitter favors liberals while downgrading conservative voices.

Ex-President Donald Trump was a prolific tweeter before his ban. However, he promoted Truth Social, his social media site that he created after Twitter blocked him from using it.

Trump was blocked two days after Jan. 6 attacks. The company claimed that two tweets cast doubts about the legitimacy of the presidential elections and raised concerns for the inauguration, which Trump stated he would not attend.

Trump repeatedly stated that he would not return to Twitter, even if his account was reinstated. However, some of his allies wonder if Trump will be able resist the temptation as he gets closer to announcing a new presidential campaign. His Twitter account was suspended on Friday.

Meanwhile, conservative personalities on the site began recirculating long-debunked conspiracy theories, including about COVID-19 and the 2020 election, in a tongue-in-cheek attempt to “test” whether Twitter’s policies on misinformation were still being enforced.

It’s not easy to predict what Musk will do.

He criticised Twitter’s dependence upon advertisers, but made a statement on Thursday that seemed to be aimed at calming their fears. He has voiced concern about the platform’s restrictions on speech, but then vowed that he would not let it become a “hellscape.” For months it was unclear if he wanted to take control of the company.

After Musk signed a deal with Twitter to acquire it in April, he tried rescinding it, leading the company’s lawsuit against him to force him into the acquisition. A Delaware judge had ordered that the deal be completed by Friday.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said that Musk and his investors were overpaid. Even Musk said that the $44 billion price tag on Twitter was too high, but that the company had great potential. Ives wrote to investors that the payment would be remembered as one of the most expensive tech acquisitions in history. “With fair value that we would peg at roughly $25 billion, Musk buying Twitter remains a major head scratcher that ultimately he could not get out of once the Delaware Courts got involved.”

After months of uncertainty, a series of moves by Musk this week signaled that the deal would in fact go through. On Wednesday, Musk entered the company’s San Francisco headquarters with a porcelain sink. He then tweeted “Entering TwitterHQ — let it sink in!” This was a reference to Twitter’s logo.

Musk fired Parag Agrawal (CEO), CFO Ned Segal (CFO) and Chief Legal Counsel Vijaya Gadde (CLC). Sean Edgett, Twitter’s general attorney, confirmed via Twitter Friday that he was also out of work. He posted that the company is full with the most amazing people. Tweagle, the company name for Twitter’s legal department, said, “Keep taking care of this place,” he added. Gadde removed all references to her ex-employer from her Twitter bio while trolls continued to send thousands of abusive messages in response to her latest tweet.

Musk tried to convince advertisers that he didn’t want the platform becoming a “free for all hellscape.” He also addressed concerns that Musk’s plans to promote free speech and reduce moderating content would open the floodgates of online toxicity and drive users away.

Musk previously expressed disapproval for advertising and Twitter’s dependence upon it. He suggested that more attention be given to other business models, such as paid subscriptions, which won’t allow large corporations to dictate how social media operates. But on Thursday, he assured advertisers in a note that he wants Twitter to be “the most respected advertising platform in the world.”

As concerns rise about the direction of Twitter’s content moderation, European Union Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted to Musk on Friday that “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.”

Breton and Musk met in May and appeared in a video together in which Musk said he agreed with the 27-nation bloc’s strict new online regulations. The Digital Services Act, which threatens large tech companies with billions of dollars if they fail to monitor platforms for illegal or harmful content like hate speech and disinformation, is a threat to big tech companies.

Musk also spent months mocking Twitter’s “spambots” and making contradictory pronouncements about Twitter’s problems and solutions.

Thursday’s note to advertisers shows a newfound emphasis on ad revenue, especially a need for Twitter to provide more “relevant ads” — which typically means targeted ads that rely on collecting and analyzing users’ personal information.

About 90% Of Twitter’s revenue, adverstising is responsible for about 5% of its total. However, it’s far from the largest digital marketing platform. Google, Amazon, and Meta account for 75% digital ads. According to an Insider Intelligence projection, Twitter accounted for just 1% global digital advertising spending in 2022,.

Lou Paskalis was the former head of media at Bank of America. He said that Twitter’s most loyal advertisers are many Fortune 100 businesses and they will continue to use it unless “some really unfortunate things” happen.

Twitter has become a private company with the takeover. Trading in its shares was stopped Friday and they will be removed from the New York Stock Exchange next year. According to an internal memo,

Musk will speak directly to Twitter employees Friday. This is amid internal confusion and low morale due to fears of layoffs and dismantling the company’s culture or operations.

——

This story has been updated to correct the language in the tweet by Musk to “the bird is freed,” not “the bird has been freed.”

——

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Mae Anderson contributed to this story from New York. Follow AP’s coverage of Elon Musk: https://apnews.com/hub/elon-musk

Read More