X, Threads, Text-Only TikTok 🫠

Katie Wight | July 25, 2023

Twitter rebrands to X

Marketers are losing their minds about what they’re calling the “irrational decision” to eradicate what had once been referred to as the company’s most recognizable and highly valuable asset, the bird logo. Bloomberg reports that this move will wipe out between $4 and $20 billion worth of value.

But Musk has been in negative cash flow for months, seemingly unbothered because he counts this rebrand as one more move toward his “everything app” – his obsessive endeavor to create one platform that encompasses all social updates, payments, banking, booking taxis, ordering food, and more (like WeChat in China).

Text-Only TikTok

Within the same 24 hours, TikTok announced “text-only” posts to throw another hat in the ring for users looking for a Twitter alternative, since Forbes recently reported that daily active users on Threads are down by 70%. My first reaction was to laugh and applaud TikTok since Meta has been ripping them off for years in a game of copycat product development. Now I’m just kind of just swimming in the same existential doubt I typically plunge into when I think about my professional field for too long. Can someone do something original?

Moral of the story:

👉   Unless you’re still, somehow, a Twitter user, absolutely nothing of consequence has occurred (yet). This news cycle is a great example of how much human energy and financial resources go into social media news headlines that have nothing to do with how to improve the user experience in any measurable way, let alone help small brands reach their communities.
👉   Two weeks ago I made this call about Threads and told you I’d keep you posted, so I want to make sure you saw me mention the 70% drop in users.
👉   I wish I could say I’m not worried about Elon’s X-everything-app project, but I’ve accumulated too much PTSD over the past decade from how much actual control billionaires get to flex on the public. Elon’s purchase of Twitter has never been about growing Twitter, it’s always been about dismantling a platform beloved by human rights groups like Black Lives Matter as he pursues the acceleration of his everything-app.

Why aren’t more journalists talking about things that matter, like how to evolve antitrust laws to protect the public against the power of these platforms (moreover, their billionaire-boy-leaders)?

Once again, if any women want to enter the social media mogul chat, you have our support.