1 year after the Twitter takeover, X is still facing challenges with misinformation, advertising, and a decrease in usage.

Last year, billionaire Elon Musk acquired Twitter’s San Francisco office and made significant changes, including removing the CEO and other key leaders, and rebranding the platform as X. During his visit, he brought along a white bathroom sink and seemed pleased with his decisions.

X looks and feels something like Twitter, but the more time you spend on it the clearer it becomes that it’s merely an approximation. Musk has dismantled core features of what made Twitter, Twitter — its name and blue bird logo, its verification system, its Trust and Safety advisory group. Not to mention content moderation and hate speech enforcement.

He also terminated, downsized, or let go of most of its employees – the engineers responsible for maintaining the site, moderators tasked with preventing hate speech, and executives in charge of creating and enforcing regulations.

According to longstanding Twitter users, the platform’s purpose as a flawed but valuable source of information about current events has come to an end. The future of Twitter and whether Musk can successfully transform it into a universal “everything app” is still uncertain, just as it was a year ago.

According to analyst Jasmine Enberg from Insider Intelligence, Musk has not successfully implemented any significant changes to the platform and is still far from achieving his goal of creating an all-in-one app. In fact, X has actually caused users and advertisers to leave and has lost its main appeal as a news aggregator in the realm of social media.

Reworded: Musk, one of the most active and popular users on the platform, had a distinct experience on Twitter even prior to purchasing the company. His experience differs significantly from that of regular users. However, many of the changes he has implemented for X are based on his personal views of the site. In fact, he even sought advice from his millions of followers on how to manage it (they suggested he resign).

Enberg noted that Musk’s approach to Twitter, viewing it as a technology company to be molded according to his own vision rather than a social network driven by user activity and advertising revenue, has been the primary reason for its downfall.

The previous symbol of a blue checkmark used to indicate the authenticity of a person or organization’s account, such as a famous person, athlete, journalist, or nonprofit. Now, it simply means that the account holder pays $8 per month for a subscription service that promotes their posts above those without a checkmark. These paid accounts have been identified as sources of spreading false information on the platform, which is then magnified by its algorithms.

On Thursday, a new study from the nonpartisan organization Media Matters revealed that several verified X accounts with large followings promoted the conspiracy theory that the mass shooting in Maine was a government-planned “false flag” event. The research also uncovered these accounts spreading false information and propaganda about the Israel-Hamas conflict, which prompted the European Commission to issue a legal request for X to provide information on its management of hate speech, misinformation, and violent terrorist content related to the war.

Ian Bremmer, a well-known authority on foreign policy, shared on X this month that the amount of false information circulating about the Israel-Hamas conflict “being spread through algorithms” on the platform “is unprecedented in my years as a political scientist.”

The platform’s identity is not the only thing at risk. When Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion on Oct. 27, 2022, it was already facing financial difficulties. The situation seems even more unstable now. Since Musk made the company private, its financial records are no longer available to the public. However, in July, he stated that the company’s advertising revenue had dropped by half and it still has a significant amount of debt.

On July 14, he shared on the website that our cash flow is still in the negative due to a significant decrease of 50% in advertising revenue and a high amount of debt.

“We must achieve a positive cash flow before we can consider any luxuries,” he stated.

In May, Musk enlisted the services of Linda Yaccarino, a former NBC executive with strong connections in the advertising world, in hopes of regaining top brand partnerships. However, progress has been gradual. While some advertisers have come back to X, their spending is not as high as before, despite the online advertising market’s recovery, which led to increased profits for Meta (Facebook’s parent company) and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) in the last quarter.

According to Insider Intelligence, X is expected to generate $1.89 billion in advertising revenue in the current year, which is a 54% decrease from last year’s earnings. This amount is similar to its 2015 ad revenue of $1.99 billion. The research firm’s data indicates that in 2022, X’s ad revenue was $4.12 billion.

Further studies indicate a decrease in the utilization of X by individuals.

Research company Similarweb reported that there was a 14% decrease in global web traffic to Twitter.com compared to the previous year. Additionally, there was a 16.5% decrease in traffic to the ads.twitter.com platform for advertisers. The mobile performance was also lacking, with a 17.8% decline in monthly active users for both Apple’s iOS and Android devices.

According to Enberg, the cultural significance of Twitter was already on the decline before Musk acquired it. However, since then, it seems as though the platform has ceased to exist. It has suffered a slow and continuous downfall.

What is truly intriguing is that nearly every injury has been caused by the platform itself. Typically, when a social media site begins to decline in significance, there are external factors involved, but that is not the situation in this case.

Source: wral.com