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How will Twitter change in hands of Elon Musk?

Nigeria Twitter tiff

Twitter logo. PHOTO | AFP

Twitter Inc, the company that owns the most influential social media platform in the world, Twitter, has agreed to sell the platform to the richest man in the world, Elon Musk.

The social media company has accepted Musk’s $44 billion deal with $25 billion financing that will leave investment bankers linked to the seller, $130 million richer in deal fees for advising Twitter on its sale to Elon.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss announced an offer to buy Twitter on April 14 after declining a majority shareholding and board membership offer. In less than a month, Musk, through rigorous expert consultation and advisory, sealed a deal with the listed company on Tuesday, April 26.

One of the biggest buyouts in history, the deal has also been termed as the quickest ever to be put together from start to finish.

The strategic move by the South African businessman might see the ban on suspended accounts, like that of former US President Donald Trump, repealed.

The huge shift is also expected to include a change in the platform’s leadership, owing to Musk’s remarks in the past regarding his lack of confidence in Twitter leadership. It is hoped that the management will improve with the possible return of the platform’s founder Jack Dorsey, who has strongly supported the buyout.

It is also expected that new features will be added to the platform to boost subscriptions, including authentication mark for all the subscribers. The possibility of authenticating all Twitter users has attracted mixed reactions in the community.

The majority observed that the move may lower credibility on the platform that is known to shape high-level economic and socio-political conversations and trends through opinions and insights by the world’s most sought-after thought leaders.

A tweet from a verified account of a celebrity, a politician, a CEO or a brand is considered to be a credible piece of information that can be used in a court of law, a news story by a media house or a cue into a new trend in the market.

One of the witty strategies by Twitter remains character limit per tweet and exclusion of the basic sentence structure. Twitter doubled the number of character limit from the initial 140 to 280 per tweet in 2017 to accommodate more expression by English language users whose words take more characters than languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Even with the additional characters, the messaging brevity and economy of expression on Twitter are incomparable, making interactions on the platform easily digestible and interesting.

With the constant influx of information on social media, where everyone has too much to say, the strategy also drives engagement since most users are compelled to share multiple tweets on the same topic.

The wit to fit a comprehensive message of whatever magnitude in only 280 characters continues to make the microblogging platform highly influential and the preferred social media platform for the elite community.

In Musk’s hands, it is not clear whether there will be a character limit change per tweet.