Monday, 28 Nov 2022

TechScape: 25 (more) tweets on Twitters future

TechScape: 25 (more) tweets on Twitters future


TechScape: 25 (more) tweets on Twitters future

1. I was a bit hasty back in April. Elon Musk did not, in fact, buy Twitter that month. But now he has. The six-month delay, which likely cost incredible sums in legal bills and caused upheaval in Twitter HQ, is over. Musk saved $0 on the purchase price.

2. The deal is the largest take-private since 2016 (when Dell bought EMC in a $67bn deal), the third largest in history (after Texas-based Energy Future's acquisition in 2007) and overwhelmingly the biggest one led, funded and controlled by a private individual.

3. It has been six days since Musk walked into Twitter HQ carrying a basin (so he could tweet "let that sink in"). There has been more change than is typical for the first week after a multibillion acquisition - and, substantially, more still proposed.

4. Musk's first act was to fire a slate of executives and bring in a brain trust of his pals to sketch out the future. Among the execs canned were the CEO, CFO and (tellingly) Vijaya Gadde, the legal chief and moderation pro seen as responsible for suspending Donald Trump.

5. Initial reports said the execs would receive handsome "golden parachutes". But Musk isn't usual: the sackings were allegedly a surprise, and "for cause", an attempt to avoid payouts by claiming ill performance - an accusation that Musk denies.

6. His second act, equally symbolic, was to order a change to the front page of the site. You won't notice it unless you're logged out: the new default is the "Explore" tab, rather than the sign-up page. In other words, the focus is on growing passive use, not account creation.

7. The real point of that change was Musk imprinting his authority. No review, no focus groups, no multi-week debates between executives. He orders the change; it gets done. That, staffers are to understand, is now the way of things.

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