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Elon Musk Outlines Final Steps Required to Consummate Twitter Deal

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Twitter Announces Major Staffing Changes as Musk Deal Continues to Take Shape

Time for a quick check in on the Elon Musk Twitter takeover – so how close are we to Elon becoming Tweeter–in-Chief?

Musk addressed the topic in an interview for the Qatar Economic Forum earlier today, in which Musk explained that there are three key issues that need to be resolved before he will proceed with his Twitter takeover bid.

Those three elements are:

  • Fake profiles – Musk has repeatedly said that the deal cannot progress unless Twitter is able to provide evidence to support its claim that fake accounts only make up 5% of its user base. Twitter has since provided Musk’s team with its ‘full firehose’ of tweets to conduct its own assessment, but there’s no word as yet as to whether this will satisfy their demands on this aspect.
  • Debt financing – Despite being the richest man in the world (arguably), Musk also needs to secure final funding for his $44 billion Twitter offer. Musk has committed to paying $33.5 billion in cash, with an additional $7.1 billion in equity financing commitments from investors. That leaves $3.4 billion which will come via bank loans, though the full details of how this will work have not been finalized.
  • Shareholder approval – Lastly, Twitter shareholders actually have to accept Musk’s proposed deal, which Twitter’s board has recommended that they do. This is likely a formality, but it’s another step that needs to be taken for the deal to be confirmed – and with some Twitter shareholders suing Musk over the deal already, there is a chance it could get blocked at this step.
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According to Musk, the deal will not be able to progress until these final details are clarified, but for Twitter’s part, it’s pushing ahead with the particulars either way, filing a new proxy statement with the SEC which once again states that it’s ‘committed to completing the transaction at the agreed price’.

Twitter Board chair Bret Taylor recently echoed the same, which suggests that Twitter will look to press Elon to consummate the deal as soon as possible, as opposed to letting him walk away on a technicality, or re-negotiate for a lower price.

Market speculation suggests that the latter is where Elon is aiming, looking to reduce his $44 billion outlay on the basis of fake profiles being a more significant element of the app than had been publicly communicated.

Though the prospects of this being a viable pathway are not great, with the SEC accepting Twitter’s past assessments of fake accounts in its official updates, which may mean that Elon has to pay up, even if he does find that there are more fakes than he expected.

Either way, that’s currently where we’re at, and we won’t know what comes next until Elon’s team comes back with their own assessment of Twitter’s data, and looks to frame that as they choose.

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And Elon and Co. also have various other issues to contend with, including staff cuts at Tesla, legal action from staff, labor disputes and more.

Adding even more staffing drama into that mix doesn’t seem immediately appealing (Musk has said that he will cut Twitter staff too), but the Twitter deal is progressing at its own pace, and we should have some more insights from Musk and his team shortly.

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We’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Tests Disappearing Community Posts, Expands Access to Membership Gifting

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YouTube Tests Disappearing Community Posts, Expands Access to Membership Gifting

YouTube is testing out a new post type within its Community Posts element, while it’s also expanding access to ‘Membership Gifting’, which provides another way for creators to boost their audience in the app.

First off, on disappearing posts – YouTube’s running a new experiment that will enable selected creators to set a time limit on their Community Posts in the app, which will see those updates disappear after 24 or 72 hours.

As you can see in this example, the new option will enable you to set an expiration date for a Community Post, which will then see it automatically erased from view after that time.

YouTube says that creators have been seeking more ways to enhance engagement within the Community Posts element:

“We’ve heard from creators that they would like the ability to share content that is only available for a short period of time – for example, a special time-limited discount on merch or a special message for fans that manage to catch it before it expires.”

YouTube’s Community Posts, which it opened up to all channels with over 500 subscribers in September last year (down from 1,000 subs previously), enable creators to share text-based posts – which can include polls, GIFs, images, and video – within their Community tab.

YouTube Community Posts

That provides another way to extend your community-building efforts beyond video content and subsequent comments, which is more aligned with the engagement that you’ll find on in other social apps.

And soon, you’ll also be able to share disappearing posts too – though the initial test is only running with selected creators on Android devices to begin with.

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“Viewers will be able to see that a post will expire in x hours at the top of the post in the community tab, and creators will see their expired posts in the ‘Community’ tab under the ‘Archived’ chip once it has expired. Creators can’t re-share expired posts, but we are planning on adding that functionality in the future.”

On another front, YouTube’s also expanding access to its ‘Membership Gifting’ option, which enables Channel members to purchase gift memberships, which are then distributed to other viewers who are not subscribed to the channel.

YouTube Membership Gifting

Which may seem a little odd, but the idea is that this is a support measure for creators, not a gift for friends, as such, providing a means to both give the creator revenue (as they get the usual cut from gifted memberships), while also helping them to boost their audience in the app.

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“Up until now, gifting memberships was in a limited beta stage only, and only accessible by a small number of creators. But with this launch, we’re expanding the number of creators that have access to gifting memberships. And as a creator, you can buy gift memberships for your community without becoming a member yourself.”

To be eligible for the program, Channels need to have memberships enabled at a level of $4.99. Viewers also need to opt in to receive gifts during a stream, which they can do by tapping on the ‘Allow Gifts’ prompt in the chat on an eligible broadcast. 

It could be a handy option for building community in the app, and with many YouTubers inspiring legions of passionate fans, you can imagine that some will be more than happy to participate in helping to grow their favorite creators’ following.

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