As you might expect from one of the world’s leading websites, there’s always something going on at Twitter HQ. The site is routinely the source of breaking news, but in recent times, Twitter is beginning to appear in the news almost as much as it’s providing the news (well, almost). So what’s been going on at Twitter this week? As you might expect, Elon Musk is still casting a large shadow over the site (or a ray of sunshine over the site, depending on who you ask).
But Musk’s not the only bit of Twitter-related news this week. There’s also an exciting new feature that could have a big impact on how users experience the site. We’ll cover both these topics in this blog.
Elon Musk’s Takeover
The first bit of Elon Musk-related news has nothing to do with his takeover attempt: it’s to do with his followers’ list. The entrepreneur recently passed 100 million followers, which isn’t all that surprising given the entertaining nature of his tweets. It’s an achievement, for sure.
And one that might give him the additional dose of motivation he needs to finalise the takeover. Though if he’s to do that, he’ll have to overcome some resistance from shareholders at his other companies, who believe that Musk’s mission to complete the Twitter deal is distracting him from his duties at his other companies, such as Tesla.
But all the signals suggest that Musk does indeed plan to go ahead with his proposed plans. But there’s a lot that needs to happen before any contracts are signed.
The biggest stumbling blocks are ‘the three issues’ that Musk has identified. These are:
The biggest standoff so far has been regarding fake accounts. Twitter says only 5% of its users are ‘fake.’ Elon Musk thinks that it’s a lot more. Is this a tactic he’s using to get them to lower the price? Possible. But he could also have a point. Twitter will need to relinquish the data to Musk, who will have to make up his own mind. There are plenty of ways to interpret data, after all.
How Will He Pay For It?
Well, Musk knows how he’ll pay for it. He’ll stump up a ton of cash, some private investors will provide some more, and then loans will take care of the rest. You have to imagine that this is something that will be worked out at some point, but as with any deals of this magnitude, it might take some time — especially since the funding sources are so widespread and complicated.
What Do The Shareholders Say?
The board wants the deal to happen. But they can’t complete the deal until the shareholders have signed off on it. And that won’t happen until sometime in the summer, maybe late July or early August. The board has asked shareholders to approve the deal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll do it. However, the signs are good for Musk purely because he’s willing to pay above the odds — the $54.20 he’s offering for each share is way above the market rate, which places Twitter’s shares as having a value of around $40.
Once these three issues have been taken care of, things will begin to move. But no one can say how long it’ll take for all these things to happen.
Elsewhere in the Twittersphere: ‘Notes’ might be about to become a thing. This feature will allow users to share longer-form messages — as long as 2,500 words — with their followers. The idea has its history in the many users who have posted screenshots of notes written on their phones when they want to dive deeper into a subject. This project is still very much in its infancy; the initial run will be a two-month stint involving writers located in the US, UK, Ghana, and Canada.
A successful trial would be good news for Twitter. Often, users post longer content on sites other than Twitter, which takes users to a different site. This approach would help to keep those users within the Twitter world, and industry experts say that this could be a significant step forward for the social media site.
Another week, another step in the road towards Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Between that and the new ‘notes’ feature, it’s been another interesting week for Twitter. In the forthcoming weeks, expect to hear more about the takeover and to hear the early reviews of notes, which will launch soon.