In the 10 days since Elon Muck took over Twitter, there has been a tremendous amount of angst, rumours, speculation. Little is known about his plans for the platform other than his sometimes bizarre tweets and interviews. Musk loves being provocative so it’s difficult to know what the future really holds for the app. I don’t agree with some of the things he says but I am in a wait and see mode.
He has talked about opening the app to people with extreme views. Well, they have always been on Twitter. Appropriate content moderation continue, at least, for the time being. He has talked about charging $8 per month for a verified account. He has mentioned providing additional features to make it more attractive to have a verified account. But he has alluded to a lower level of service for free accounts, whatever that mean. These ideas can work against each other. His borrowing costs used to purchase the app will be about $1 billion. Advertising revenue is slightly more than half of that. He is aware that measures that lose users will downgrade advertising revenue. It will be a difficult balance.
I’ve seen many people announce that they are leaving Twitter. Frankly, people have threatened to leave Twitter shortly after Frank Dorsey sent the first tweet in 2006. Typically, they return. I have no plans to leave unless it no longer are tenable for me. I’ve not noticed anything different but if course it’s early in the Musk era. I am an active Twitter user, but I try to also restrict my use. My tweets fall mostly in these four categories:
- Info about my books and writing
- Humorous tweets
- Connecting with other writers and authors
- Holocaust awareness and defending against anti-Semitism
I only engage in people I know. I have no interest in verbal battles with trolls. There are many people on Twitter who are rude and insensitive. Unfortunately there are people who do not understand that many of my tweets are satirical. I tolerate these people to some extent but those who cross a line are blocked with no explanation. I don’t believe I own them one. My DMs are only open to people I follow and I’m selective on who I follow. About 90% are also writers.
Not only have I found friends through Twitter but also beta readers, editors, graphic artists, cover designer, and book designers. I’ve also found many readers. These things are not going to be easily replaced.
Here is an example of my social media analytics:
- Twitter – 17,114
- Facebook – 422
- Instagram – 506
- Tiktok – 218
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which platform I get the most interaction and impressions. Shifting my time to another platform is going to significantly impact for quite some time. It took me about five years to build my Twitter numbers. It won’t take me nearly as long the next time. But it’s not going to happen overnight. In a typical month, I’ll create 1,700 tweets (less than 5 a day), have 45,000 profile visits, and 750,000 tweet impressions. I am in no hurry to give that up..
As I’ve mentioned already, I have not noticed anything different. I plan to stick around until it no longer makes sense to be on Twitter. However, I will be paying more attention to Instagram as a contingency. If I leave, I’ll first have a transition plan.