Elon Musk’s ambitious plan to transform Twitter into an “everything app” called X has faced numerous challenges and criticisms since its inception. According to Elon Musk biographer Michael Vlismas, while Musk had a grand vision for the platform, the execution has been problematic.
Musk’s first actions as the owner of Twitter included firing executives and laying off thousands of employees. This, coupled with skittish advertisers concerned about content moderation, led to a decline in revenues and even speculation of bankruptcy.
One of Musk’s attempts to generate income for the company was to offer verification ticks as a paid-for benefit in a subscription model. However, this plan faced significant flaws, allowing fake accounts to obtain the once-respected blue tick. This move created chaos and made it difficult for users to identify genuine accounts.
Furthermore, Musk’s decision to reinstate banned accounts, including those associated with hate speech, has raised concerns about the platform’s content moderation standards. The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has criticized Musk for welcoming back bad actors to the platform.
In addition to these challenges, the rebranding of Twitter into X has also faced skepticism. Musk claimed that the name change reflects his ambitions for the app, but social media expert Beth Caroll believes that Musk has “decimated the business” instead.
Despite the criticisms and challenges, X remains popular among its remaining users for real-time updates. Dr. Annmarie Hanlon, a lecturer in digital and social marketing, believes that competitors like Mastodon and Meta’s Threads have failed to offer a comparable experience.
However, biographer Vlismas doubts the long-term success of X, comparing it to SpaceX’s core purpose of launching rockets into space. If X continues to lack a clear vision, more people may turn away from the platform.
Overall, Musk’s vision for transforming Twitter into an “everything app” has faced significant obstacles, and its success remains uncertain.