What Elon Musk’s Purchase of Twitter Could Mean For PR Pros
It was the announcement that sent shockwaves through the Twitter-verse.
When Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, announced he would be buying Twitter for $44 billion, it’s safe to say the world had questions. The top two trending questions after the announcement – “Why?” (we may never know the REAL answer to this one) and “What does this mean for the future of the platform?”
For PR pros, Twitter is used to connect directly with consumers and the media. So what exactly does this mean for the platform, PR pros and the businesses they represent? While most of the impending changes are purely speculative, let’s dive into what Elon Musk has hinted at for the future of Twitter.
Charging Businesses and Governments?
One of Musk’s first ideas for “Twitter 2.0” is to charge businesses and government agencies who want to use it. It’s still unclear what this cost could be, but this would be a huge change for a platform that since inception has been totally free. Plus for smaller businesses, this move could alienate them from using the platform altogether, causing the diversity of companies to shrink to only those that are able to afford it. Not cool, Elon.
Free Speech for All?
Twitter is known as the platform where basically anything goes. This has resulted in some truly outrageous tweets by consumers, such as PETA’s out-there tweet about prong collars. But is there such thing as too much freedom? Musk hopes to transform the platform into an even less-meditated space. Critics warn this could increase hate speech and misinformation, which is already a common problem for Twitter. Journalists and other news outlets could be driven off the platform, as a result, making it harder for PR pros to establish relationships with them. Businesses could also find their tweets and ads among unregulated inappropriate tweets by everyday users, making it difficult for companies to maintain their reputation and monitor their brand identity.
Introduction of the Edit Button?
Have you ever tweeted and then immediately regretted it because there was a typo? You’re not alone. In Musk’s latest Twitter poll, “Do you want an edit button?” the answer was met with a resounding yes! But don’t get too excited. While an edit button could be a good thing, it could also easily be abused by internet trolls and cyber attackers. They could potentially hack into your company’s Twitter and edit the tweet to something controversial. Talk about a PR crisis! Changing your password frequently would be a must if the edit button becomes a reality.
Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter will undoubtedly change the Twitter-verse as we know it. While these changes are still unconfirmed, many could affect how PR pros across the globe use the platform. The big question remains: Will your company thrive on the new Twitter, or will you be tweeting the #goodbyetwitter blues?