After the world’s most noted game of will he won’t he – it looks like Elon Musk will now move ahead with his acquisition of Twitter.
ICYMI, earlier this year in April, Musk made an offer to acquire Twitter for the mighty sum of $44 billion USD or $54.20 per share which was accepted by Jack Dorsey and the Twitter board. After what appeared to be an all-but-done deal, Musk notified Twitter via his lawyer in July that he wished to renege on his offer, flagging the number of bot accounts as the reason.
This didn’t go down so well, sparking Twitter to pursue legal action and kick off one of the more bizarre and infamous public lawsuits in recent memory (bar Johnny Depp and Amber Heard).
Now, after months of accusations, stock fluctuations and rumours, it seems as though Elon has backflipped (again) and has agreed to move forward with the original agreement. Communicating again through a letter via his lawyers, Musk has agreed to honour the deal and has suggested a stop to all legal proceedings, including the trial which was scheduled to officially kick off on October 17th.
So why the change of heart?
Industry figureheads put it down to the fact that Elon knew he was fighting a losing battle. The legal team for Twitter has been adamant about the deal’s terms, which they claim include “airtight obligations” that will tie Musk to his original offer.
The lawsuit was also becoming a PR nightmare for Twitter and Musk and has had a serious impact on their stock prices, all of which will be Elon’s problem to solve if he did eventually lose the case.
So that settles it right? Elon Musk will own Twitter? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. While Twitter have released a statement claiming that they are willing to accept the offer, they have still flagged deep distrust between to two parties, and have requested a judge oversee all business proceedings from here on out.
So it seems everyone is on board, but with someone like Elon, you can never be sure things will go to plan.
But considering we like to focus on social media here – let’s assume everything goes the way it is supposed to and Musk takes over. What should we expect Twitter to look like for social media marketers?
If you follow Musk, you’ll know to take what he says with a grain of salt. However, he has mentioned a number of changes that could impact the way Twitter operates.
The most notable change for marketers will be Musk’s vision to rely less on advertising revenue. Elon himself has admitted that this may not be possible, but he is still committed to investigating a way in which Twitter is able to survive with fewer or no ads. This could include a bigger focus on a subscription-based model, or as Musk himself has alluded to, charging fees for commercial users of the app.
Other notable changes to look out for are a bigger crackdown on bot accounts, which will significantly reduce the number of users on the platform and inevitably impact advertising reach and engagement. From a marketing standpoint, if you look past the vanity metrics, you will find your reporting will become much more accurate and in line with your goals to serve your ads to, you know, actual people that are interested – so we are team Elon for this one.
A new Twitter age is coming for us – consider the above-rumoured changes and start to plan on how to best adapt your strategy to suit. We would strongly recommend keeping one eye on how this one plays out – we have a feeling this is going to get more complicated before it is all said and done.