What are you going for? The Latin expression “where are you going?” It perfectly reflects the state of stupefaction caused by the drift of Twitter, a social network that, without reaching the popularity of others, has been for years the great agora of global discussion in all orders. The arrival of Elon Musk as master of the platform of trills, with his impulsive decisions, has transformed it into an unrecognizable place and with an increasingly uncertain future.
The penultimate grotesque of one of the richest men in the world has been to replace the Twitter logo on the main page of the platform in web browsers for a few days with the portrait of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency dog, which triggered its price last week past, but on Friday, the logo of the bird returned to its place and the dog disappeared, which caused his fall again. Musk has a history of altering the price of the crypto asset.
In less than six months, the company is worth less than half of what it cost and suffers constant failures
A series of tweets from Musk about Dogecoin in 2019 and the announcement that Tesla would accept payments with the cryptocurrency skyrocketed its value. His final resignation sank her. An investor in the cryptoactive sued him. For this reason, now there are those who consider that the last maneuver of the owner of Twitter with the logo has been a move to raise the price and ingratiate himself with the litigants in the face of legal action.
But Twitter’s problems go beyond the seemingly thoughtless actions of its owner. Since he bought the social network for $44 billion in October 2022, the company has lost more than half its value and is now worth about $20 billion, the millionaire said in an email sent to employees of the company. company a few days ago.
The email explained the basics of a new stock compensation program. The message explained that the company was in a precarious financial situation and that its survival required radical changes including spending cuts and massive layoffs, when it has already lost more than three-quarters of the workers it had in October, when it took over the company. company.
Musk defined his new Twitter as “a reverse startup” that needs to be reformed quickly. That workers’ compensation program means that employees will receive shares in X Corporation, the holding company he used to acquire the social network. According to the billionaire, Twitter could one day be worth $250 billion. Nothing seems to indicate right now that this is in the process of happening.
A request for confirmation of information from ‘The New York Times’ was answered with the poop emoji
The millionaire told employees that they could sell their shares every six months, in the same way that happens at SpaceX, his space rocket company. According to Musk, this type of arrangement will allow workers to have “liquid shares, but without the chaos of listing and legal burdens of a public company.” The New York Times sent a request for comment on this information to the company’s communication department, and received the poop emoji for all responses. Copy.
The confusion surrounds everything that concerns the company. Last week, at the company’s headquarters, the ws of the social network’s name were covered on the exterior signs, with which you could read “Titter”, which in theory does not mean anything, although it could be a new occurrence. Musk’s questionable sense of humor (in English, “tit” is boob).
In the midst of the daily noise that the social network itself generates, the fact that a real estate company has denounced it because it has stopped paying the rent for its offices in Oakland (California) and has similar lawsuits for non-payment of its headquarters in Boston, San Francisco and London. The late payments may be Musk’s strategy to drive down the price, but the signal he is sending is that his company is in serious financial trouble.
The Wall Street Journal recently calculated the total volume of lawsuits against Twitter. It’s 14 million dollars. The sum may seem high, but it is a company bought for 44,000 million a few months ago. Seen from that perspective, perhaps everything is one more maneuver by Elon Musk.
The colossal reduction in employees is also having operational consequences in the social network. In recent months there have been service outages, failures in the links to images and videos or lack of updating of the tweets that are shown to each user. In the first few weeks, Musk laid off half of his staff, about 3,700 workers, and another 4,500 subcontractors. The effects of this cut can be seen in several things and one of them, very important, is content supervision, which is now more dependent than ever on what its algorithms decide. Now there is only a quarter left
The recommendation algorithm is made public
On March 31, in keeping with one of Musk’s promises when he took over the social network, Twitter published part of the code of its recommendation algorithm so that anyone —experts— can understand how specific messages reach the screen. of each user. Obviously, the code that decides on advertising recommendations was not included in this transparency exercise. Each like receives a rating of 30, each retweet one of 20 and each reply one. So a tweeter who needs to gain presence and significance in the social network should provoke the first two.
Many of the big brand advertisers have disappeared from Twitter, while ads for low-quality products or miraculous features have proliferated.
Meanwhile, users continue to report that accounts they follow disappear, or variations in seniority dates and number of followers, or that updates do not load. Twitter works worse since the arrival of Elon Musk and the most immediate perspective is not one of improvement.
The company’s financial difficulties, coupled with Musk’s erratic and disconcerting decisions, which could hardly be related to making mature decisions by an adult, have only raised doubts about the survival of the platform that, Despite everything, although limping, it is still standing. The problems multiply, but the blue bird network is still alive.
Payment by check mark generates rejection
One of the constants in many organizations in recent weeks on Twitter has been to say “we are not going to pay”. Elon Musk’s decision to charge for the blue check mark that many companies and organizations have had for years has sparked a backlash. You can get it without paying, but that decision is up to Twitter and there are some who have lost it or are in the process of losing it.
One of the most bitter controversies in the newspaper The New York Times. Musk has been in an open confrontation with the newspaper for years. The publishing company has already announced that it does not plan to pay for having the blue tick and that, only in very exceptional cases, could it consider paying for one of its journalists or collaborators. The reaction of the owner of the social network has been critical, because he believes that the newspaper can afford to pay for the service for companies.
The availability of the blue mark is from now on for three reasons: because it is a prominent account in some area, because it is verified by seniority, or because the owner is subscribed to Twitter Blue, for a payment of 11 euros per month (if applicable). through the Apple store) or 8 euros per month within the social network itself.
On Twitter itself there is a very strong protest movement against payment and against those accounts that pay for the subscription. Although Musk’s initial intention was to indicate in the profile of each account the reason why he had the verification, he has finally given up, so now what can be seen in the profiles is that the account “is verified because it is subscribed to Twitter Blue or because it’s a verified account under the old system.”
Subscription to Twitter Blue, of course, has some advantages, such as being able to post videos of up to an hour in length, but what makes a good part of the social network that is outraged is that money allows you to gain notoriety.
On Twitter there are two recommendation labels. By default, the one that appears is For you, which now preferentially shows tweets and mentions from accounts that pay the monthly subscription. The other tab is Following, which is the one that shows the accounts in which the user is interested, although the algorithm of the social network tends to show others to start with.
The golden signal, which has already begun to be awarded, will basically correspond to companies and institutions, while the blue one is mainly granted to individual accounts. At a time to be determined, there will also be a gray check mark, although no one has begun to be assigned to it yet.
One of the controversies over the verification mark awards has come from some respected public companies. One of them is the BBC, which has been labeled “Government Funded” by Twitter, something that nobody understands in the UK, where the network, despite all its ups and downs, has always maintained its prestige as independent of the political power.
Something similar occurs with National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States, a non-profit public broadcasting service that produces radio programs for a network of more than a thousand stations throughout the country.
Twitter labeled NPR as a “state-affiliated American media outlet,” prompting numerous backlashes. Finally, Musk admitted the error after meeting with a journalist and changed the chain’s label to “government-funded media outlet”, despite the fact that the federal administration contributes only 1% of its annual funding.