Will Elon Musk Truly Free the Bird?by@kingabimbola
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Will Elon Musk Truly Free the Bird?

by M. Abimbola MosobalajeOctober 29th, 2022
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Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, what does this mean for businesses and advertisers on the platform? It means a change is coming to the bird app, and those whose businesses depend on Twitter can expect changes in advertisement policies, especially data usage.

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A New World Order

Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover: what does this mean for businesses and advertisers on the platform? It means a change is coming to the bird app, and those whose businesses depend on Twitter can expect changes in advertisement policies, especially data usage.

‘The Bird App is Free.’ Freedom, a Mirage?

The world’s richest man was seen bringing in a sink into Twitter HQ. If we didn’t know the calculative man better, whose actions are always pointers, we would think this is nothing but a troll. Bringing in a sink suggests some current operational features on Twitter are ‘going down the sink’. Maybe some staff, too –lol! Taking to his Twitter account page, he wrote on 27th October 2022, “the bird is freed”.

What is this freedom? More freedom of expression, without worrying about accounts being banned or suspended, as the culture of freedom of speech continues on the international digital platform? Or freedom according to the gospel of Musk, seeing he has fired Parag Agrawal and Vijaya Gadde, who are top executives and legal and policy executives that may have been responsible for the permanent suspension of Trump’s account.

Already a major stakeholder in the company, Mr. Musk made an offer of $44bn for the company in April. Some think it is an outrageous offer. The world’s richest man knew what he was after. He is a businessman! He knows what his prospects are!

Adverts, Advertisements, Advertisers

Delight. Entertain. Inform.

On Thursday, Mr. Musk released what seems to be a personal (press) release –a tweet. Although he addressed many things in this letter of ‘humility’, the part that addresses digital marketers and advertisers is worth paying attention to.

Musk wrote, “Advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain, and inform...” This statement may suggest that all advertisements on Twitter would be both content and prospects-driven.

The advertisement would, most likely, be reviewed or indexed to determine content. How that would be is still unclear, but we can tell that new algorithms would be coming up on what advert content to promote.

Reportedly, Tesla’s coders and software engineers have been ‘digging’ Twitter codes. Since Mr. Musk is highlighting “delight, entertainment, and information,” longer media advertisements may be favored. It is also certain that more targeted ads are coming to Twitter.

“... it can show you a service or product or medical treatment that you never knew existed but is right for you.”  —Elon Musk

Relevant advertising would need more data from users and businesses. Hence, users can anticipate new policies and be required to perform updates on their accounts that may include adding some more information or updating their preferences. Targeted ads may also mean acquiring and optimizing data from the search history of users. Perhaps, like WhatsApp, Twitter would be snooping on other mobile phone applications?

Mr. Musk Has Always Been Big on Data

Twitter currently handles approximately 12 terabytes of data every 24 hours, which is smaller than Facebook’s daily 500 terabytes. Musk had previously shown interest in Facebook’s operability and public policies. So, Twitter may be willing to obtain more data, as more data means more insights to drive marketing campaigns. The new owner is big on data.

It is easy to feel Twitter currently undermines data from users. Sprout Social says that massive data can be collected and explored from a single tweet –not just from users, but also visitors and viewers. So, if Twitter is going to be more definite about who to reach with what advertisement, more data has to be acquired.

On the 25th of August 2022, Reuters reported that Elon Musk was demanding Twitter Inc’s user details and data. In fact, a comment by Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick is that the request amounts to trillions of data, and “no one in their right mind has ever tried to undertake such an effort.

In the past, we have seen Elon Musk hint at data management in the past. According to Forbes, Musk had, in the past, held a meeting with Zuckerberg and the Facebook team on a bulletin board for the liberty to exercise free speech, which suggests relaxing the AI grips on what they mark as hate or hurtful speech. He also recommended banning the promotion of criminal activities or content that directly endangers public safety.

Advertisers can bank on their hunger for data as a favorable thing. Content creators and advertisers on Twitter can look forward to better days if their content does not violate human safety and wellness policies.

Data will be a huge game changer in Elon Musk’s Twitter.

Nuke the Bots

The owner of automation-led vehicle innovations finds Twitter bots creepy. Bots are automated accounts that function as a personality. On Twitter, these automated accounts find deployment to drive traffic for likes and reposts.

Sometimes, they are configured to generate and report posts. While bots boost performances beyond actual human input, they affect monetized daily active users (mDAU). mDAU refers to monetization that comes with human engagements with posts on the platform.

Some companies use these bots to ‘up’ the appearance of their performances. It may soon be ‘game over’ for them. Up to 29% of Twitter’s monetizable content is bot-generated.

Generally, marketing agencies and advertisers prefer to reach real humans because those are the ones that are the real prospects with capacities for conversion. Twitter acknowledges that only 5% of bot accounts exist on its platform. Musk seems to think otherwise –that there may be up to 20% of bots. Similarweb reported that bots generate 20-29(%) of the content on Twitter US.

So, the new owner may be ditching bots as he would tighten account setups and securities.

While bots have contributed to the flexibility of the Twitter ecosystem and provided a smooth user experience, the world’s wealthiest owner has declared war on bots.

Humanity or Profitability? Staying Sharp

Mr. Musk claims to be doing this for humanity. While there is no reason to doubt that he may have good intentions (which is relative), it is also unbelievable that one would invest $44bn because he cares for humanity.

Tesla may save the planet from excessive energy consumption and other things that endanger the earth’s stratosphere, but it is not cheap. A deal that requires “partners” to invest in the acquisition is not a deal for charity; we can expect money—lots and loads of it.

Businesses and those who seek to reach more prospects through Twitter can start to rejoice. The richest man is out to make more money and retain that spot. It is a game of control and wealth. The surest way for wealth to grow is when it spreads exponentially. Thus, businesses may be paying more for adverts, but there is more to get with more data for targeting ads.

In fact, high-traffic pages may be getting incentives this time. A post from Zuby suggests it, and Elon Musk affirmed it.

How to Prepare?

Keep following the news about the world of social media. Follow Birdie Musk, the Chief Twit for updates, Twitter’s main account, and other officials such as Twitter’s CTO. Watch out for information on policy updates and read with your team of digital marketers and content creators.

Create and offer entertaining content. Be customer-sensitive.

It’s a ‘Digital Town Square’

It is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square

Town squares are always centers of bustling activities. In his release on his acquisition, the world’s richest man says this ‘acquisition’ “is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square”.

So, you can be sure that the ‘New’ Twitter will milk all options for productivity and profitability. Elon Musk did not buy this for fancy or for some experimentation. He is a businessman! Townsquare also suggests more interactivity and reach. We can bank on that. Lessening strict rules and speech policies means more people can be reached; there would be less frequency of account suspension.

We can only wait to see what the coming months will look like for different users who use the Bird app for various reasons. But for advertisers, it will be business as usual, yet with promising prospects.