News broke late yesterday that the Twitter Board had accepted the offer from Elon Musk of $54.20 per share, a number that values the business at some $44 billion.
After the acquisition closes, Twitter will revert back to being a privately held business. The current Board will therefore be disbanded and the Tesla and SpaceX CEO will be able to make any/all changes that he desires.
More interesting that the end result will be to see how governments around the world respond to the acquisition. For the past years, the direction of travel (globally) has been towards silencing opposition voices; narrowing the Overton window of what is deemed acceptable discourse; with an orthodox worldview being pushed by corporate media… and (importantly) national and federated international governments like the European Union.
Anyway, in terms of Twitter, it was a short fight; that never become too bitter. The Board, led by Bret Taylor took a few days to conduct an appraisal of the offer. Both Musk and the Board have emerged with their reputations intact. It could (of course) all go sideways tomorrow, but in our opinion the sale is likely to be completed as it is in all parties best interests.
With product releases now halted at the microblogging platform, it will be interesting to see what the current algorithm and business practices utilised by Twitter are. Is it as biased as many on both the left and right claim?
Time will tell.
Also, will some Twitter employees walk out?
The suspicion is that Musk would likely be happier if the more overtly political lurking there did. After all it should be about the betterment of product; the increase in usage and revenue, not about controlling the political narrative. Troublemakers within any company can and do cause enormous damage.
Commenting on the acquisition Musk simply stated, “Yesss!!!” and continued with a screengrab of a previous message.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated”.
Seeking to reassure some of the more nervous users, he immediately tweeted, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means”. Whether that brief message does anything to reassure those users and activists seeking to limit the marketplace of ideas is unlikely. Again, time will tell.
Social media platforms are designed to garner usage and many people become addicted. Its therefore probably that whilst their will be some churn, most of those leaving will return shortly after leaving.
Moving-forward, the key factors to look for over the coming months include:
- Mass verification
- Changes to senior management (Musk’s offer letter suggested as much)
- Culling of spam accounts
- The open source algorithm
- Ban lists
- Suppression and shadow banning
- An edit button
- A new premium product
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘Elon Musk emerges victorious in the fight for Twitter‘ article. Automatic translation from English to a growing list of languages via Google AI Cloud Translation. Reporting by Rob Phillips.
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