I can't really comment on "The Fall of Twitter" because I've rarely ever used that platform. On the contrary, I've actively avoided it when at all possible. Finding a way to condense my thoughts into 280 characters or less was a hassle that was rarely rewarded with any meaningful dialogue (but I did get plenty of public hate, whether from my content or the misunderstanding of truncated content). Eventually Twitter allowed you to become "verified" by paying for it, and those users were allowed to blow past 280 characters to 1,000 or 2,500 or some more respectable number. I never wanted to pay for the privilege, so I took a hard pass. Again. Regardless of my personal experience (or lack thereof) using Twitter, I've been reading an increasing number of articles which have proclaimed it dead. Or, in the case of The New Yorker, "no longer fun."
What I can comment on is the disastrous rebranding of one of the most valuable brands in the known universe. Elon Musk renamed "Twitter" to "X" which was a bizarre strategy that could only be dreamed up by a billionaire who doesn't give a shit about the irreplaceable power of brand recognition. "Tweets" have been embedded into world culture (and the world's lexicons) in a way that companies fantasize about. But Musk has an obsession over the name "X" for some reason, so now instead of tweets we have xeets or what-the-fuck-ever. Musk does a lot of crazy shit (but likely no more crazy than the things I would do if I were a billionaire) but this one takes the absolute cake. The guy paid FORTY-FOUR BILLION DOLLARS for something he proceeded to utterly decimate.
And don't think that I am just making an observation over something I refuse to investigate. I read numerous stories and watched interviews where Elon Musk attempted to explain it all. And it goes something like this...
“The Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth – like birds tweeting – but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video. In the months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world. The Twitter name does not make sense in that context, so we must bid adieu to the bird.”
On the surface, this is not at all illogical. Chinese society runs on an app called WeChat (微信).
If you are unaware of the sheer insanity of just how critical WeChat has become to the Chinese people, I've got a mindblowing video for you. It's quite a long video because they address a number of controversies surrounding the app, but it's a fascinating watch...
Now, if you didn't watch the above video (and who could blame you), this is a frame from it that's the critical bit...
WeChat combines the shopping of Amazon, the videos of YouTube, the dating of Tinder, the music of Spotify, the search of Google, the financial transactions of PayPal, the social media of Facebook, the telephone connectivity of WhatsApp, the movie studio of Netflix, the ride-sharing of Über, the reviews of Yelp, the videoconferencing of Zoom, and the food delivery of Deliveroo (the American equivalent being InstaCart and ÜberEats)... all in one app!
And this is what Elon Musk is wanting for his "X" platform (a concept he tried once before but never got off the ground). It is, apparently, the main reason behind him wanting to buy Twitter in the first place (along with his ego, I'm sure).
Now, I have serious doubts that a WeChat-type service conglomerate could ever emerge in the USA. We have anti-monopoly laws, sure, but they get ignored or enforced seemingly at random, so that's not my reasoning. My thinking is that there is no unifying government mandate which encourages this to happen. Of course there are politicians who want to keep us from having access to things they don't like (or, more accurately, things that they are fucking PAID to not like, such as TikTok), but apparently nobody has paid them to work on app consolidation yet. Somebody should just tell Musk that he needs to start buying off politicians to make it happen! Heaven only knows that there are enough of them up for sale, so it's really only a matter of money. Of which Musk has plenty.
I am watching the fall of Twitter, er, "X"... with disinterest. Why would I care that a platform is either "dying" or "no fun" when I don't use it?
Okay... I'm watching with a little bit of interest since Twitter is part of the reason that blogging died (ah, those were the days!).
Ultimately to me this is just like the death of FAX machines and pagers. It seems to actually be happening, but we won't know for sure until it's really gone. I take no joy in it, especially because of those who rely on it, but don't expect me to care. And if Twitter weathers the storm and roars back as the "X Everything App" that Musk always dreamed of? Well... I wouldn't want all the apps I use to be consolidated under Elon Musk any more than I would a government... so I wouldn't be thrilled about it (that's why my primary "social media platform" is Blogography!), but I guess I'd have little choice but to install it.
It's either that or retreat to a cave and commune with nature.
Something that is getting more appealing by the day.