Twitter’s Downfall Began Long Before Musk’s Mistakes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely know that Twitter is in a freefall and has been since Elon Musk purchased the platform for a highly inflated price of $44 billion.

You’ve likely also seen his series of blunders, including firing the executive team without having done any due diligence on their value to the company or their individual payout packages – which resulted in Musk begging some of them to come back.

Later, in a desperate attempt to make his purchase profitable, Musk unceremoniously fired fifty percent of the staff. Of course, just days later, he realized the company needs a workforce to keep it running, so, he once again begged some staff to return.

Next, as advertisers fled the platform, he tried to drive revenue through the ill-fated $8 Blue Verification Checkmark. This, naturally, resulted in chaos as Twitter users earned their “verification” for fake accounts to impersonate real brands.

Then, he released his famous ultimatum, giving everyone who remained 24 hours to decide if they want to go “extremely hardcore” and work long hours or to resign and take a severance. This move couldn’t be more tone deaf in the era of people “.working their wage.”

Unsurprisingly, 75% of the company opted for the severance packages, leaving Musk to wonder if anyone will remain to actually run the company. And, departing staff have been hilariously roasting Musk since, to the point of Musk shuttering the offices.

A few things strike me in this entire scenario. First, let’s talk about Twitter’s value in general.

The Value of Twitter for Brands

Truth be told, although I once advocated for the platform back in 2004, by 2009, I was reporting that 40% of Tweets were drivel.

And, by 2015, my use of the platform dropped significantly as I simply wasn’t seeing much click-through (Twitter drives only 7% of all website click-through, compared to Facebook, which still to this day, drives 55% of click-through.)

Although I still shared the occasional tweet or link to an article, I just didn’t see the value in those Tweets that was once there.

The Twitter Experience for Women

Worse still, was the overall Twitter experience.

I had a conversation in 2019 with another agency leader – a male – who was still a big fan of the platform. He couldn’t understand why I was no longer a fan of Twitter.

It was in this discussion when I realized that men and women have very different experiences on Twitter. I explained that, for me, Twitter had become a cesspool of misogyny, hate and d**k pics.

No longer was it a forum for link sharing and conversation, at least not for women – or, more specifically for me. I couldn’t go on Twitter anymore without being accosted by incels and political extremists either in replies or in my DMs.

Twitter’s Past Glory

There is no doubt that Twitter was once an incredibly value resource for many.

In 2009, I shared how Twitter was redefining customer service and helping brands quickly resolve issues and create customer engagement.

In 2013, I reported on how Twitter was driving sales for SMBs.

And, even as recently as 2020, Twitter helped brands communicate COVID-19 restrictions.

But, the fact is, Twitter was a mess of bots and bullies long before Musk entered the scene. And, from what I am seeing, it’s only getting worse.

What do you think? Will Twitter survive this current state of chaos? Or, has the platform run its course?

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