The Tweeting world held a collective breath when Elon Musk took over the Twitter platform. This was intensified when Twitter became X. But the reality, for the man or woman on the street, and businesses everywhere, is nothing has really changed. Despite the X handle, people continue to ‘Tweet’ and use hashtags to generate interest in products and events. Musk has been quoted as saying Tweets will be replaced by posts known as Xs, but no one refers to them as that. Tweeting is established as being the practice of sending out a message in 280 characters or less. The term Tweeting is perhaps a bit like the word we tend to use for the household item that sucks in all the dust and grime. Few people refer to the generic term vacuum cleaner – opting instead for the brand name of the first original vacuum cleaner, created at the start of the 20th Century – Hoover.
Musk has tried to limit the way that all users access accounts, and has attempted to generate revenue with his Twitter Blue service, but for the social or business Tweeter life goes on pretty much as it did before. Twitter remains a great way to connect with friends and is also a highly effective business tool, key for networking and building a brand. You just have to look at the way big companies treat Twitter to get a feel for its power. If you have tried registering a complaint over, for example, a delayed or cancelled flight and attempted to contact the company by email or letter, you will not receive a prompt response, if you get one at all. However, by ‘publicly shaming’ them on Twitter, you will invariably receive a reply in rapid time as they seek to protect their brand from the Twitterati (ie potential or existing customer who might take their business elsewhere). So, Twitter is very much alive and well. To paraphrase Mark Twain, news of its death is greatly exaggerated. X may be the bold new image, but the practice of Tweeting holds strong.