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What to Make of Elon Musk’s Buy-Up of Twitter Shares

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What to Make of Elon Musk's Buy-Up of Twitter Shares

We are certainly living in interesting times.

After recently criticizing the management of Twitter, and in particular, the platform’s move away from free and open speech in the app, billionaire Tesla owner Elon Musk has today purchased 73.5 million shares in the company, worth close to $3 billion, immediately making him the largest Twitter shareholder.

Musk now owns 9.2% of the company, and while his stake is ‘passive’ – i.e. Musk does not gain a board seat or voting rights – speculation now is that Musk could look to make a bigger move, and take more active control of the company in the near future.

What would that mean?

As noted, Musk has recently taken to Twitter to criticize the company’s moves to restrict free speech. Late last month, Musk shared this poll with his 80 million Twitter followers.

Musk also noted that ‘the consequences of this poll will be important’, without qualifying those remarks.

Following on from this, Musk questioned the role that Twitter is now playing in democracy, and raised the possibility of creating his own social network.

Musk has had a complicated relationship with Twitter over time, with the billionaire’s off-the-cuff tweets often landing him in hot water with the SEC and other regulatory authorities. Musk also has a history of sharing seemingly random memes and thoughts, which given his public status, has lead to confusion, and even concern at times for his mental state.

Case in point – Musk recently challenged Vladimir Putin to a physical fight for the fate of Ukraine.

Musk has also been a vocal critic of various government policies, including immigration reforms, COVID response measures och taxation proposals. And given his statements on Twitter’s moves to restrict certain speech, it’s possible that Musk would like to go further in such comments.

But would easing Twitter’s regulations be a good thing? Would it be more beneficial for society, as Musk stipulates, if Twitter were to allow more misinformation, and take a step back from looking to curb concerning movements and trends?

Twitter’s most notable action on this front came when it banned former US President Donald Trump from its platform for sharing comments that could incite violence.

Musk had thoughts on this as well:

So clearly, Musk has opinions on the way that perceived tech censorship is going – but surely a $3 billion investment is about more than simply enacting your own will on your favorite social media platform, and letting more controversial content filter through. Right?

Of course, $3 billion for Elon Musk is not a significant portion of his net worth, but even so, from a business perspective, you would assume that Musk has some angle here, a potential pathway to re-igniting Twitter’s growth and maximizing that investment.    

Twitter’s already under pressure on this front after investors from Elliott Management Group bought up Twitter shares in 2020 in order to force Twitter management to up its game, and improve revenue performance at the company. That likely led to Jack Dorsey’s decision to step down late last year, while Twitter is also still being held to its ambitious revenue and user growth targets implemented as part of the Elliott push.

Maybe, Musk sees potential beyond this, and a means to help stimulate Twitter growth even further, and make it an even more significant part of the media landscape.

Many have envisioned the same, with Twitter, at least to some, failing to capitalize on its opportunities – while by comparison, Meta has continued to grow and expand well beyond Twitter’s pace.

Twitter and Facebook were once on similar pace. Maybe there’s a way to bring that back into view, and build Twitter into something even bigger, and more influential, within our broader communicative process.

Or maybe Musk will simply look to boost Twitter’s share price through his involvement and interest, before selling out for a profit. Twitter shares rose more than 28% after Musk’s stake was revealed, and maybe that’s the end game here, another troll from Musk to make even more money.

That seems less likely, but with Elon Musk, no one really knows for sure.

But what do know is that things are set to become a lot more interesting in Twitter’s board room over the coming months. Watch this space.




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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

A fed-up accountant has spoken of his “disappointment” after his Facebook page was taken down AGAIN. Last July, we told how Suleiman Krayem feared …

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

Here’s the difficult thing with Twitter no longer having a comms department – now, there’s nowhere to go to confirm info about the app’s latest updates and features, and where each is available, etc.

Case in point – this week, Twitter appears to have launched a new in-stream boost option for tweets, which provides a quick and easy way to promote your tweet without having to launch a full ad campaign.

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by Jonah Manzano (and shared by Matt Navarra), the new boost option would be available direct from a tweet. You’d simply tap through, select a budget, and you would be able to boost your tweet then and there.

Which seems to be new, but also seems familiar.

It’s sort of like Twitter’s Quick Promote option, but an even more streamlined version, with new visuals and a new UI for boosting a tweet direct from the details screen.

Tweet boost

So it does seem like a new addition – but again, with no one at Twitter to ask, it’s hard to confirm detail about the option.

But from what we can tell, this is a new Twitter ad process, which could provide another way to set an objective, a budget, and basic targeting parameters to reach a broader audience in the app.

Which could be good, depending on performance, and there may well be some tweets that you just want to quickly boost and push out to more people, without launching a full campaign.

It could also be a good way for Twitter to bring in a few more ad dollars, and it could be worth experimenting with to see what result you get, based on the simplified launch process.

If it’s available to you. We’d ask Twitter where this is being made available, but we can’t. So maybe you’ll see it in the app, maybe not.

Thus is the enigma of Twitter 2.0.



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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills. Reuters File Photo

New York: US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills after it advised the social media company on its acquisition by Elon Musk last year.

“As of December 23, 2022, Twitter remains in default of its obligations to Innisfree under the agreement in an amount of not less than $1,902,788.03,” the lawsuit said.

Twitter and a lawyer for Innisfree did not respond to queries.

Elon Musk in October closed the $44 billion deal announced in April that year and took over microblogging platform Twitter.

In January 2023, Britain’s Crown Estate, an independent commercial business that manages the property portfolio belonging to the monarchy, said that it had begun court proceedings against Twitter over alleged unpaid rent on its London headquarters.

Advertising spending on Twitter Inc dropped by 71% in December, data from an advertising research firm showed, as top advertisers slashed their spending on the social-media platform after Musk’s takeover.

The banks that had provided $13 billion in financing last year for the Tesla chief executive’s acquisition of Twitter abandoned plans to sell the debt to investors because of uncertainty around the social media company’s fortunes and losses, according to media reports.

Recently, Twitter made its first interest payment on a loan that banks provided to help finance Musk’s purchase of the social media company last year.

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