ELON’S X MARKS FIRST BIRTHDAY

ELON’S X MARKS FIRST BIRTHDAY

Elon Musk has held the reins at Twitter (X) for a year now and, despite predictions (and fears) of radical change, for most users things are effectively the same as before.

The URL is still twitter.com and your home page is as it was before save for the unsightly X in the top left-hand corner. The blue check marks (where users pay to validate authenticity – really? –) are essentially irrelevant, largely because a slew of celebrities came out fighting against that plan.

This was one of his aims to try to recoup some of the $44billion he paid for the social platform. The other way was to fire some staff. Inevitably he was going to streamline it, he claimed, and this meant job losses – about 80%, or 6,500, of its staff. But this was apparently ‘painful’ and ‘difficult’ for Elon.

Last month, Twitter (sorry, X) proudly boasted it had 90million users in the US. However, this is more than 5million less than it had at this time last year. And worryingly for the platform less than 1% are teens. This is a major concern.

In the past, newspapers, worried about the lack of young readers, tried to change the way they presented the news and tabloids especially tried to cram its pages with young celebrities. All to no avail. It wasn’t the content that was the issue – it was the outdated practice of buying and reading a newspaper in the way that people had done for decades before. The shiny new kid on the block, the smartphone, would bring updates and social media platforms blasting into teens’ bedrooms. It was no contest.

And now Twitter (sorry X) is finding itself battling the malaise that the newspapers did – it’s no longer relevant for young people.

They don’t want to go to the trouble of messaging in under 280 characters because it’s far easier, quicker (and more entertaining) to send images on Instagram, Tik Tok or Snapchat.

Twitter (actually, I will continue to call it this) remains a great platform for some businesses and is a powerful way of calling out companies if you feel you have had less than adequate service –public shaming forces them into virtually instant action.

And it will remain a powerful social media platform for some years to come. The hope for the organisation is that those disgruntled teens will mature and fling their back to front baseball caps onto a Twitter handle. Time of course, like everything in life, will tell.