Everything app killed the blue bird, an obituary for Twitter

26 July 2023

Oliver Darcy, writing for Reliable Sources, a newsletter produced by CNN:

Twitter, the text-based social media platform that played an outsized role on society by serving as a digital town square, was killed by its unhinged owner Elon Musk on Sunday. It was 17 years old.

A zombie Twitter, known only as X, reluctantly endures. A warped and disfigured platform, X marches on like a White Walker, an ugly shell of its former self under the command of a loathsome leader.

Twitter is to be transformed, apparently, into a WeChat like app, allowing users to do all manner of things, from messaging to making payments. But that can’t be what all Twitters members signed up for. It’s like paying to see Barbie, and instead being herded into a screening of Oppenheimer. Musk could’ve bought Twitter, left it alone, and used the user base to leverage his everything app.

Perhaps Musk took inspiration from Meta’s ham-fisted efforts to “transform” Instagram into a TikTok clone. A move all the more perplexing in the wake of Meta’s relatively successful launch of Threads recently, a Twitter-like clone. If Meta wanted a TikTok clone, why not create a stand-alone app, and leverage their Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc., members, to light a fire under it. In the same way they did with Threads. And leave Instagram alone.

But who’s to understand what goes through the minds of the mega-billionaire owners of these tech companies.


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