Musk’s acquisition of Twitter raises speculation about the future of communications platforms

The news about US billionaire Elon Musk’s acquisition of the well-known Twitter platform “Twitter” continues to attract the attention of experts, followers of the digital media market, and social media platforms, as the completion of the transaction has an impact on the future of these platforms, the way they are managed and the organization of their work. Although Musk has not fully announced his plan for Twitter, what has been leaked and published so far about the features of this plan raises speculation and questions about the change Musk intends to make in the social networking platform market .

anger over the deal

More than that, and while the world awaits the completion of the agreement, Musk shared a report on Twitter last Friday talking about “fake accounts” on the platform, accompanied by a comment in which he stressed that “the transaction is temporary suspended until it is confirmed that the percentage of fake accounts does not exceed 5%, causing Twitter’s shares to fall by 10 percent.

A few hours later, Musk tweeted again, emphasizing his “commitment to complete the deal.” Brett Taylor, Twitter’s CEO, responded to his personal account saying, “We are also committed to completing the agreement.” As Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said in a series of tweets Friday night in response to questions that accompanied the departure of two senior Twitter executives and the suspension of all “non-essential” appointments, that “while I expect the transaction to be completed, I must We are prepared for all scenarios and do what is right (Twitter). “

In this context, observers believe that “Mask’s talk about the temporary suspension of the transaction is meaningless, especially since the transaction is scheduled to take place on October 24 and the agreement requires Musk to pay $ 1 billion in case The transaction could not be completed. According to observers, “what is happening may be an attempt to diminish the value of the deal, especially after the value of Twitter’s share fell below its value at the time of the takeover bid.”

Khaled Al Barmawi

In any case, while some experts are skeptical about the feasibility of implementing certain aspects of Musk’s plan, they link its success to new ideas that the owner of the Tesla car company and the space company SpaceX could enter on the Twitter platform , noting that Musk’s desire to gain Twitter stems from “his quest to gain more influence through a platform for elites and decision-makers.” Last month, Twitter’s board approved Musk’s offer to buy the platform for $ 44 billion, and the deal is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. However, observers believe that “with the continued decline of (Twitter) shares in the stock market, it is possible that the transaction will not be in the amount announced, and there is a possibility of repurchasing the stock.”

Influence on the elite

Raef Al-Ghouri, a specialist in information technology and a Syrian media trainer working in the UAE, said in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat: “It is natural if you are one of the successful people with wealth is to strive for, has the power to influence through the media and social media platforms, which included the world, describes it as the fourth authority … that Musk’s desire to acquire Twitter, after his success in the providing solutions in transportation via Tesla cars, in the field of satellites via SpaceX, and the satellite Internet Star Link, in addition to its interest in digital currencies and its quest to spread them around the world, especially Dogecoin.

And he continues, “The (Twitter) platform has the advantage of being a news platform for most thought leaders and decision makers in the world, and this advantage that (Twitter) enjoys is one of the reasons why Musk chose the elite. instead of the masses, at least in the first phase. “

On the other hand, Khaled El-Barmawy, an Egyptian journalist specializing in social media and digital media, offers a broader view of the social media platform market. He believes that “the coming period will show more developments in this sector, to complement the rapid developments that have taken place over the past three years.” And the entry of platforms from different countries like China and Russia on the competition line, which is normal for a sector that is still in its teens, and he will witness in the coming period more efforts to legalize it and its use regulate, and of course Musk’s acquisition of (Twitter) will play a role in these transformations. ”

Dr. Mai Abdul Ghani

vae plan

On the other hand, over the past month, Musk has posted several tweets containing his dreams for the Twitter platform, including that he “hopes that even the worst criticism will remain on (Twitter), because that is what freedom of expression means. ” and that “Twitter will remain free for ordinary users, but fees may be charged to businesses and governments. As for the American newspaper, The New York Times, it last week published Musk’s offer to access the Twitter platform, including increasing annual revenue to $ 26.4 billion by 2028, compared to $ 5 billion last year, and reducing advertising dependency to 45 percent in 2028, compared to 90 percent last year, as advertising will generate $ 12 billion in revenue, while subscriptions will generate about $ 10 billion, and other revenue may come from businesses such as data licensing , which generated $ 572 million in revenue. last year.

On this issue, Al-Ghoury says that “most social media platforms want to achieve two main objectives: financial profit, increasing the distribution among users, and transforming them intelligently through innovative marketing methods and algorithms that are taught and developed daily to consumers. The second goal therefore supports the first goal in harmony and harmony. ” Then he adds, “Mask has drawn up a timetable for his plan, divided into two phases, for the years 2023 and 2028, to bring about an increase in profitability and more publicity. It is clear that his plan has been carefully studied, and goals are set that are not easy to achieve, and require a lot of work to update and develop policies and procedures such as changing the privacy policy, the usage policy and adding the edit content button, and this requires the appointment of more developers and employees in the company’s departments and countries. ”

However, Dr Mai Abdel Ghani, a professor of media at the University of Benghazi and a researcher in digital media, believes that Musk’s plan regarding Twitter is still “vague”, and explains in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat that “Mask has has announced little of what he intends to do. ” Implement it as soon as the transaction is completed … Nor can everything that has been announced so far be implemented on the ground. “

Then Mai Abdel Ghani explains that given Musk’s plan to reduce ad dependency, the Twitter platform suffers mainly from a lack of ads compared to other platforms, such as “YouTube”, “Facebook” and “Instagram”, in addition to the fact that reliance on tweets Paid will make the platform somewhat elitist. Mai Abdel Ghani continues, “We can not ignore that the culture of payment for digital content is not common in many countries of the world, including the Arab region. And even if it is found, international studies indicate an increase in payment for digital content of an entertainment nature such as movies, series and music, which is not in line with the nature of the Twitter platform … Experiments of relying on payment for content only as a source of funding were not successful in some Media projects.

In turn, Al-Barmawi links between “the possibility of implementing Mask’s plan to develop (Twitter), especially in the area of ​​reducing ad dependency, and increasing the number of followers and profits, with the type of content which will provide the platform. ” He says that “there are many ideas to develop content to make it more appealing to the audience, but we do not yet know what Musk will rely on for this, and that, in addition to the extent to which Musk can pass on these updates, in light of countries’ efforts to regulate and control social media platforms, In particular the measures taken by the European Union in this regard.

In this regard, Musk’s decision to acquire Twitter has raised real concerns in the European Union about the platform’s compliance with EU legislation on fake content. However, Musk last week reiterated his willingness to comply with European Union rules. “I agree with everything you said, and I think our thinking is very similar,” he said reassuringly in a video clip with European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton posted on Twitter. Britton also said earlier that he sees no problems with the application of the rules “even if[Twitter]owned by billionaire Musk alone, as any company in the European Union will have to meet the obligations we impose. ”

Discussion and anticipation

According to data published by the New York Times, Musk expects to increase Twitter’s average revenue per user in 2028 to $ 30.22, up from $ 24.83 last year, and to bring the total number of Twitter users to 217 million by the end. of the year. The past, to almost 600 million in 2025, and 931 million in 2028, and an increase in the number of “blue Twitter” users, to 159 million users in 2028.

The new plan also includes the launch of a product referred to as “X” and makes this service 104 million subscribers by 2028. To achieve these steps, Musk wants to reduce the number of employees by about 1,000, from 9,225 currently to 8,332 in 2023. At a later stage, the number of developers and employees will increase by 2025 to 11,072, according to the New York Times .

Finally, amid the state of anticipation, it appears that the expectations of experts and observers were correct. In an almost-anticipated move, Musk announced his intention to lift the ban imposed by the Twitter platform on the account of former US President Donald Trump, and Musk said, speaking at the “Future of Cars Summit.” Last week, presented by the Financial Times, he declared that “the ban on Trump was a wrong political decision,” emphasizing that “a permanent ban on Twitter accounts should be rare and reserved only for misleading accounts or bots.”

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