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Elon Musk Raises More Questions About Twitter’s Approach, Which Could Lead to a Big Shake-Up

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Elon Musk Raises More Questions About Twitter's Approach, Which Could Lead to a Big Shake-Up

If nothing else, Elon Musk seems determined to shake things up in his time as Twitter’s prime shareholder, and see what he can make happen, which could set the platform on a course for internal angst and user disruption as Twitter’s various chief try to find ways to placate the latest member of their board.

But before we get into Elon’s latest recommendations for the platform, it’s worth establishing where Twitter is at, and what its current goals are, to set a clear understanding of the stakes.

Back in 2020, investment firm Elliott Management purchased a 4% stake in Twitter – worth around $1 billion at the time – with the intent of forcing Twitter to oust long-term CEO Jack Dorsey and replace him with a more business-focused leader, with a view to maximizing the app’s performance.

Elliott’s view was that Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Square, was unable to give the company the attention it requires while operating in both roles, so it bought up shares in order to push him out. Eventually, Twitter’s management negotiated a peace deal of sorts with the Elliott group, which involved Elliott and Silver Lake Partners both gaining a seat each on Twitter’s board, and saw Twitter set ambitious new growth targets, which, presumably, also held significant penalties for Dorsey and Co. if they could not be met.

Those targets were shared publicly in February last year:

  • 315 million monetizable daily active users by Q4 2023 (Twitter currently has 217 mDAU and added 18m in total in 2021)
  • $7.5 billion annual revenue in 2023 (Twitter made $3.7b in 2020 and $5.1b in 2021)

As you can see, those are some tough targets, and it may be that the pressure placed on the company as a result of Elliott’s push lead to Dorsey’s decision to step down as CEO in November last year. Dorsey was replaced by CTO Parag Argrawal in the role, and that could, in some respects, have given the Elliott consortium what it wants, which could have eased the pressure on the company – but then, shortly after his appointment, Agrawal re-affirmed that Twitter would maintain these growth targets in Dorsey’s wake.

So Twitter already has a tough road ahead of it, especially on user growth. And into this comes Elon Musk, who bought up a 9% stake in Twitter late last week. That’s double the holding of Elliott Management, and more than Elliott and Silver Lake combined, giving Musk a significant voice in the company. Twitter quickly appointed Musk to its board, amid concerns that he could look to buy-up even more shares, and take a controlling interest in the company (Musk’s appointment to the board limits him from buying more than 14.9% of the company).

And now, we’re in this new reality, where Musk’s voice could hold significant sway in the company’s future direction.

And he’s wasted no time in making provocative claims and assertions ahead of his first AMA with Twitter staff next week.

In a late night flurry of tweets on Saturday night, Musk noted that:

  • Twitter’s most popular accounts, based on follower numbers, are not very active, which prompted the question – ‘is Twitter dying?’

This comes after Musk shared a poll earlier in the week, in which he asked if Twitter users want an edit button, which more than 4.4 million people responded to (74% in favour). Twitter then noted that it is, in fact, working on an edit button, and has been for some time, but Musk’s poll once again underlined the public pressure that he could put on the company, which he can also now use to back-up his views and opinions in Twitter’s board meetings.

Musk’s array of ideas could certainly cause some headaches, and planning restructures within Twitter HQ.

On the first point, that Twitter’s most popular users are not active – Twitter’s already working on this, by adding in new incentives to get people to tweet more often, including Super Follows, tipping, newsletter integration, on-profile product displays and more. Those probably won’t get the Justin Bieber’s of the world to be more active, because they’re won’t necessarily be incentivized by these revenue programs, but they could get more mid-level influencers more active, which could make Twitter feel more ‘alive’ once again.

Maybe. It’s hard to say how effective things like Super Follows will actually be, but there’s not really a good solution to get more high profile users engaging more often. If Musk has any ideas on that, no doubt Twitter’s management will be keen to hear them.

On the second, that Twitter should add an alternative checkmark for paying users, this idea has been floated many times, that Twitter could verify users that prove their identity, not with a blue tick, but with something else, in order to legitimize their presence. Making this a paid option probably isn’t the best way to go (as it could incentivize scammers), but maybe there could be an argument for variable indicators based on proof of identity, which could put more onus on accounts to confirm their details, thereby lessening the impact of fake accounts and bots who wouldn’t have it.

Which leads to Musk’s last point (I can’t say much on the idea that Twitter’s home base should be re-used for another purpose), that there are too many bots and scam profiles in the app, which impacts the user experience. This is likely true – according to previous estimates, around 15% of active Twitter profiles are likely bots, while bot accounts have also contributed up to 60% of the tweets around politically divisive topics at times.

That’s a significant problem – but at the same time, would removing them be in Twitter’s best interests, from a metrics standpoint?

As noted, Twitter’s looking to add almost 100m active users in the next year and a bit. Removing 15% of its active user base – equivalent to around 32m profiles – would clearly impact that strategy, making it virtually impossible to reach.

But maybe it would be better for Twitter, overall, to attack this more vigorously? Maybe it would be better to remove bots entirely, even if it reduces the user count – but then again, we don’t know the penalties that Twitter’s management could be facing if it fails to meet these benchmarks.

Could Musk convince Twitter’s board to change direction on this, if Twitter were to combat bot profiles?

That then leads to questions about identifying and removing bots definitively, which would undoubtedly lead to some false positives, and likely some reduction in engagement, at least in the short term.

Such an approach could work, in the longer-term view, but would Twitter’s other shareholders have the patience required to re-structure this element?

These are the types of questions that Twitter’s going to have to weigh in the Elon Musk era, and while they could well lead to systematic improvements, they could also cause some major headaches for Twitter’s management in the upcoming quarterly reports.

And then there’s the censorship element, and Musk’s potential influence on Twitter’s stance on moderation and removing accounts that break the rules.

Musk recently questioned Twitter’s adherence to ‘free speech principles’ which he noted are fundamental to democracy.

Musk was also a vocal critic of Twitter’s banning of former US President Donald Trump early last year.

Interestingly, the founder of Elliott Management, billionaire investor Paul Singer, is also a “Republican mega-donor”, who, while he was initially opposed Trump’s policies and approach, eventually came around to backing the former leader.

So now you have at least two elements in Twitter’s board room who, at a glance, would appear to back a more ‘free speech’ approach to moderation at the app.

That could spark big conflicts, especially as social platforms now seem to be generally in agreement that faster action is required on potentially harmful movements, in order to quash them before they gain any traction.

Platforms took too long to address QAnon, allowing it to spread, and infect more people via their networks. They have not made the same mistake on anti-Ukraine propaganda.

Will Musk’s appointment be a step back on this element, and allow more dangerous speech to take hold via tweet?

Certainly, right wingers are happy with Musk’s board ascension, and with the pending failure of Trump’s ‘Truth Social’ app, they’ll be keen to see if Musk can reinstate some of their past freedoms, at least in a perceptual sense, within the app.

No matter what, Twitter certainly looks set for a shake-up – but whether the end result is actually a better experience, we’ll have to wait and see.




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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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