November 1, 2022

Changes & Charges Coming to Twitter as Elon Musk Officially Becomes the CEO

Twitter is *the* hot topic of social media right now. The back and forth about bots, ownership, freedom of speech, and subscriptions can be a lot to keep up with. At McLernon & Co. we have the highlights ready for you.

Elon Musk is “Chief Twit”

The rumors are true. Billionaire businessman and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk has completed the purchase of social media town hall, Twitter. Musk paid a steep $44 billion for the social media company and is moving fast to make changes.

He has already laid off the former CEO and several top executives with more layoffs rumored to be coming soon. According to The Washington Post, Musk’s inner circle has discussed plans to lay off 25 percent of the company in an effort to lean out its workforce and processes, a claim that the new CEO denies.

Twitter is also being taken private on November 8th. This means that Elon will have a lot more flexibility to change the company as he wishes, and will not have to disclose finances to the public.

Content Moderation Council

Some users of Twitter have felt the sting of being de-platformed in recent years. With Elon Musk taking Twitter private, many users have mixed feelings around content, moderation, and freedom of speech on the platform.

As one of his first policies, Musk has announced plans to form a “content moderation council”. This council will be composed of people with “diverse viewpoints” and “no major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.” 

What’s Up with Twitter Blue?

Another change Elon is making will affect Twitter’s relatively new subscription service, Twitter Blue. The current proposal would change the current subscription price from $4.99 to $8.99, which is down from Musk's original increase to $19.99. The main benefit of this proposal would provide verification status. 

All verified users have a little less than 90 days to decide whether or not they will remain verified on the platform.

We suggest taking this time to evaluate your Twitter strategy. If Twitter is a major player in your social strategy, we believe it’s worth “paying to play.” However, if you don’t have the budget or are not interested in continuing on the platform, now may be the perfect time to gracefully leave.

Other features of Twitter Blue include an undo tweet window, customizable navigation bar, a list of top articles, and ad-free access to articles, among other things. Twitter Blue launched last year, and has since proved to be a valuable asset to those willing to pay to play.

Our Thoughts

Twitter has been an interesting place over the last few years. As an organic platform, it can be a wonderful tool for conversation, news, and trends, however it can also be a swamp filled with trolls and politicians who care more about their follower count than their diplomatic duties. Strategically speaking, as an ads platform, it has been lacking. 

We are hopeful that these changes to the platform will be for good as Elon says are his wishes. We still like Twitter and are interested to keep learning and using this platform to help our clients reach their goals and remain social. 

“There are valid concerns around his control over such a large and powerful platform. I personally am concerned about what it means to give “free speech” back to hate groups… I have high hopes that Elon is able to take Twitter back to a place where it is more “social” again. Rather than a place just for news and politicians.” - Madison (Social Media Manager)

“My personal thoughts are a wait and see attitude. I wouldn't put any ad dollars into Twitter until we have an understanding of where the platform is headed under Musk's direction.” - Inga (Senior Social Media Manager)

"Twitter has always shared a special place in my social media habits. It's where I go for news updates, trends, and conversations. Watching this transition affect the users is the most interesting thing for me. I'm hopeful that Elon will use this opportunity to create a positive impact, but fear that his personal life and decisions may drive many away from the platform forever. I plan to stick around and find out." - Larry (Social Media Manager)

"It's interesting to watch a company revert back to being privately owned after being publicly held; in my lifetime there has not been such a public transition and I am interested in studying the next few months/years as a business case study. That being said, I do have hope that this will be a positive change for Twitter and the general public who uses Twitter. I personally have stayed away from Twitter due my personal perception of it being a swampy place with trolls, but with the announcement of a diverse content moderation council I am more open to being a part of this social media platform and community." - Amanda (Founder & CEO)

Contact us for a Consultation 

The social media landscape is changing rather quickly. Between platform policies, legal policies, and the beloved algorithms, social media can be tricky to navigate.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you strategically work through these changes, or plan your strategy, we would be happy to help. We offer intensive strategy sessions that include hands-on guidance. Email to contact us for a discovery meeting!