Twitter: Politics & Culture; not Business & Tech

Sunil Rajguru
New Update
the white house 269734 1280

Business: By Silicon Valley standards, Twitter was never a great business. It barely makes $1-1.5 billion in any given quarter. Contrast that with Amazon, which is looking to touch the landmark of $500 billion in annual revenues. Elon Musk bought Twitter for a mere $40+ billion. Contrast that to Apple which had a peak valuation of $3 trillion. Apple is worth 60-70 Twitters.


Users: There are hardly any users compared to the Big Tech players. While Facebook is struggling to reach 3 billion users, Twitter is in the hundreds of million and nobody knows how many of them are bots. The number of social media players with more than a 500 million users cannot be counted on the fingers of your hands.

Tech: The technology isn’t that great either. It gave you 140 characters on debut and upgraded that to 280. Its algorithms are biased and promote rage bait. They can’t even keep out porn. They only promote an elite cabal while the commoners can only watch.

Stagnant: Twitter was launched in 2006 and even after 15 years has totally been unable to solve any of its above problems. Whatever model Twitter has, has failed spectacularly.


Punching way above its weight

But what has succeeded spectacularly for Twitter is its impact on politics and culture. Arguably in that department it has more influence than all the other players put together. There was a time when world leaders used to look at the morning’s newspapers to gauge the mood of the people. Now they look at Twitter trends all day.

Twitter has the first mover advantage. It sets the pace. It picks the narrative. It picks the winners and losers. Who is good? Who is bad? Who should be cancelled? Who should not? For that it has emerged as the final arbitrator. It’s not just America. In India, it barely has 20 million users. But it could be argued that the BJP won on the platform of Twitter in 2014. They may not be unseated even in 2024.


The golden opportunity for Musk

And therein lies its true worth. It’s worth every cent for Musk, who already has enough money to buy all the luxuries man wants a million times over. The world’s first quarter-trillionaire at its peak finally buys something of worth. Musk can now actually aspire to be the most powerful man on Earth.

But that is good news for everyone. For Twitter was beholden to the ideology and politics of the Democratic Party of America. If you subscribe to their policies, then Twitter and the world is a great place. If not, then well, you are a pariah. Twitter will finally be more inclusive and that could up the user count.

It could also up the engagement and participation and become much more democratic, something that it had once set out to be. Musk sacked half the employees and then many more resigned. It seems he can make Twitter run at quarter capacity. In fact there was a report that for a brief period of time, only 50 employees were keeping Twitter up and running. Then why do you need 8000? What were the rest doing?

This new paradigm could end up making Twitter bigger and who knows, make tonnes of more money? It’s possible. Especially with a billionaire at the helm who has already made a multitude of improbable things a reality.

elon-musk twitter