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Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 25 January 2021 | 0 Comments

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25 January 2021

What will the world’s richest man do with Twitter?  

With an estimated net worth of around US$265 billion, Elon Musk is the wealthiest person in the world according to both the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the Forbes real-time billionaires list. Ahead of his take-over of Twitter, top executives at the social media giant have been ousted and Musk has already got the world captivated by his plans to reactivate Donald Trump’s Twitter account. 

Elon Musk is a Twitter fan, having sent around 5,000 Tweets since opening his account, and for him the acquisition seems to be deeply personal. Certainly, he has commented that many of its most popular accounts have gone quieter over the years. Having firmly established as a global hub for news, politics and culture. Twitter’s most popular accounts — from former president Barack Obama to pop star Katy Perry — boast more than 100 million followers. Yet many celebrities have downgraded their accounts to thin promotional tools or stopped using them entirely. Hollywood insiders refer to it as a ‘celebrity Twitter graveyard’. As the soon-to-be Twitter owner, Musk will know that it is used by 229 million people each day, up from 217 million three months ago but he will have seen a definite worrying trend - and have plans on how to address it. 

The 10 most-followed Twitter accounts, not counting Musk himself, has sent roughly 35 percent fewer tweets in 2022 so far than in the same period four years earlier. Only musk himself Musk and former US President Obama have bucked the trend to send more.

Can Musk reversethe trend?

Many A-list entertainers view Twitter as a high-risk, low-reward platform where discourse is so highlypoliticised that engagement ceases to be pleasurable and fun. To navigate the storms, many famous people delegate tweeting duties to outside agents to avoid negativity, harassment or abuse. This inevitably means a greater number of banal messages that say very little, and seem pointless and beige. Musk, who is paying around $44 billion for Twitter, has pledged to loosen the site’s restrictions on speech. He hopes to triple the site’s active user base and persuade many to pay for a service that historically has been free.Certainly something needs to be done to conserve Twitter’s place in the world of top celebrities now that Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012, gives celebrities a way to engage fans visually without inviting the verbal jousting that Twitter was becoming known for. In contrast, Instagram and TikTok are offering celebrities a more interactive platform, with greater control and less risk. Insta has an altogether more positive vibe, and after a grim few years of negative news, rising prices, and restricted freedoms, this is definitely appealing.