Well, that was Twitter. Now we have X.
I rarely used Twitter for my own needs, but I understood why so many other people did. I did, however, utilize it for business purposes. I advertised on the platform, and I posted routinely for my column and other related work content. I checked it for things that were timely, like earthquake notifications or other topics that could not be covered by the mainstream news that quickly.
Maybe it was a free speech platform like Elon Musk always said it was, but to me I feel there’s a difference between free speech and hateful speech that comes from a misinformed, under-educated, very vocal minority of people who think radical or even fascist points of view are protected under free speech.
Free speech and free political discourse are not necessarily the same thing, but I digress. The fact is that Twitter is gone, and X is here, and X has lost the value of its predecessor.
That leaves me, as a marketer, with two questions. One of which is easy, and the other, harder. First, should I, as a marketer, be spending ad dollars on X given the recent comments made by Musk, and his subsequent responses? The answer is clearly no.
That one is easy. What about the second one? Should I still be posting content to X? On a personal level, I have stopped posting there, and to be honest they made it easy by disabling most of the external integrations that used to make it easy to post there.
My last post was in mid-late November. In terms of my business use of X, I made the decision today to stop posting business-related content on X as well. It is easy to say I won’t spend ad dollars there, but it is still more difficult to say I will no longer use the platform at all.
Continuing to post content to X while cutting your ad dollars is trying to have your cake and eat it too. I did a quick look, and I am very enthused to see brands like Disney and Walmart have cut their postings in the last few days, along with their ad dollars.
You can’t go halfway if you want things to change. Musk has made his opinions quite clear, and the world is now being forced to ask the question, “Do we really need X?” The content shared on X is accessible everywhere else, and the people posting on X are also posting on other platforms, so the fact is that there’s little to no competitive advantage for a platform like X when all they do is drive you to other places. The attraction has been the audience reach, but if that reach goes away, and the money goes away, there’s not much else to work with.
All this nonsense could have been averted if it were not for ego. Ego is what made the Twitter deal happen, and ego is what could eventually kill the platform, and the careers of so many people who are trying to keep it alive. Ego won’t kill Elon Musk’s bank account, even if it does kill his personal credibility.
Ego will force more and more users to Threads and other platforms, and it remains to be seen what that will do for the ego of Mark Zuckerberg and others in his space as they take on that traffic. For now, though, decide if you want your cake at all, and make a decision as to whether you are posting content on the echo chamber that has become X, or not. And when you do so, think fondly and remember what Twitter was for you, and what might have changed.