It’s official! I’m leaving X (formerly known as Twitter) behind, and I’m not looking back!
Twitter has such a special place in my heart. It’s where I used to spend tons of time scrolling through the tea and topics around my interests. It’s even where I met my first business mentor.
But sometimes, hanging on to the memories of the good times can’t overshadow just how bad things are today.
And bad might be an understatement when it comes to the current state of X (does anybody hate that name as much as me?) ever since Elon Musk took over.
While this may sound like an emotional decision, let me break down exactly why, as a marketer and business owner, now is the right time for me and my business to say goodbye to what used to be an amazing platform.
In this episode of the podcast, I talk about:
- Elon Musk’s flipflop decision making
- The facts behind why X is terrible
- My strong opinion of why X is terrible
- How X is impacting marketers for the worse
- The “promised” future of X
- The Big Brands who are leaving X behind
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Watch the Episode Below:
Andréa Jones (00:00):
It's been nearly a year since Elon Musk took over Twitter as its owner and today feels apropos to announce that I'm leaving. Let's dive into the details.
Welcome to The Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andrea Jones. Listeners, you're in for a treat.
Andréa Jones (00:45):
Before I dive in today's episode, I got to remind you to grab your 15% off over at Riverside. Riverside is the podcast recording studio that we now use for our show, and y'all, they feel super luxurious. So head over to Riverside. You get 15, that's one 5% off all of their plans by using the code Drea. That's d r e a at checkout. Click the link in the show notes to get started today for free. All right, Twitter X, formerly known as Twitter. I laugh to myself every time I say X, formerly known as Twitter, but that's really where we are right now, and I have decided to leave the platform. But before I share why I'm doing this and what I suggest you consider, I want to talk a little bit about the history behind all of this because there's a huge impact to why that is. Now, when I look at my X Twitter account, oh my gosh, I can see that I joined in 2014.
That's when I started my business in 2014. That's when I joined the platform as onlinedrea, and I did have a Twitter account prior to that. I believe I deleted it when I canceled my personal brand. I used to have a personal brand called Simply Andrea. That was my personal blog, my YouTube channel. And so I've been hanging out on Twitter probably since it first started. I love social media. I'm a social media fanatic, y'all know early adopter. And so I actually really enjoyed Twitter. I met my mentor on Twitter, Afton Negrea. Y'all know I talk about her all the time. She's my very first mentor. She was doing these daily Periscopes reviewing apps. She would've app of the day, and I just loved her approach to it all. She was very straightforward, but didn't speak down to anyone, just kind of like, Hey friends, here's what we're doing today.
And that's when I got started as well. I started doing Periscopes as well because of what I saw she was doing. Then I saw she had a program and joined it, and that all happened because of Twitter. So Twitter, I have a personal connection with the platform, but that all changed October of 2022 when Elon Musk took over Twitter. The story behind all of this too is quite fascinating because he kind of just said he wanted to buy Twitter, and then Twitter was like, okay, here, yeah, you can buy us. And then he tried to take it back and they had a legal battle. So then he legally had to purchase the company, which for the start of this, it feels right because of where it is now. And immediately when he takes over, he implements things like Twitter Blue where you could have paid verification, which isn't unusual.
Meta now has paid verification, but then does things like dissolves their safety councils. So the people who make sure there isn't racism and doxxing and all the bad things that can happen on Twitter, they just were like, yeah, we don't need that anymore. They started banning links to other apps. This is all before 2022 is even over. So in the first three months of Elon Musk taking over, there was lots of things happening like that. And I remember when I was recording episodes for the Feed, which is our private podcast on social media news and updates. I was struggling to report on Twitter news because it felt like every day something was happening and then it was being clawed back. Now we get to the beginning of this year, 2023, and things get even funkier. Twitter takes away their a p i, which they don't really take it away.
They just increase the cost so much that nonprofit organizations or local groups no longer have the, they can't access it, they can't access it, it's just outside of their budget. And so there are tons of things. Think like automated weather reports that could not go out on Twitter because of those a p i changes. Then because of Twitter blue, they took away blue check marks for legacy accounts. So celebrities who have had verified accounts for a decade or more suddenly get their verifications taken away, and then some of them are reinstated and then taken away again, very Twitter, they removed some of the hate speech rules, so that increase, they add on features as they're doing this. But a lot of those features like expanded tweets and the ability to edit are only available to paid Twitter blue subscribers. And while this is all happening, they lay off 75% of their staff, their ad sales in the US are down by 59%, and then magically July of 2023, they changed the name from Twitter to X.
Now, I wasn't surprised when this happened because I knew that Elon Musk wanted a company named X. I kind of figured he'd turned Twitter into X. I thought there'd be some sort of rollout plan for it, but nope, it was just announced before logos were even changed. There's no redirect for the URLs. You still got to go to twitter.com to get there. And if you try to share a tweet, it's twitter.com. Very odd. And then so X now starts limiting reach on some links. We already know posting links to other social media apps is banned. They even started banning other apps like Sub Stack. And then this week, this week for me was the straw that broke the camel's back because Elon Musk did this talk and he was bragging about how there's a hundred million posts per day on Twitter. And I was reading an article about it, and the article pointed out that that is low because in 20 13, 20 13, y'all 10 years ago, there was about 500 million posts per day.
So to go from 500 million to a hundred million. And even as he said it, he was like, yeah, I think there's about a hundred to 200 million. The way that you said it makes me go, there's probably less. Okay. So it feels like the way that he's delivering information is not accurate. Elon Musk, I'm talking about x did this big update where they updated the link previews. So when you post a link on social media, usually you get an image and then you also get the headline. So the subject, what is the blog named? What is the news article named? They took that away. So all you get is the image. So you could really write whatever you want, and people would have to click on it to figure out what it actually says. They are starting to look at pay to play even more so having multiple tiers where users are required to pay.
So outside of Twitter Blue, Elon Musk said that on his very, his own Twitter and a lot of stuff he says just actually does happen, even if he claws it back later. And then they're doing some odd things like removing engagement counts. So you can't see how many times your content has been engaged with their analytics is glitchy as hell at the time of recording this episode. There's a war in Israel that's very heartbreaking and completely the egregious amount of violence is terrifying, and Twitter struggling to keep up with the mass amounts of insensitive content that's being shared. So for all of those reasons, I was like, yeah, I'm out. I'm out. I've been thinking about it for a while and I'm out. Outside of all of the news that's been happening on Twitter, there are some technical things that are happening with the platform that make it very challenging, not just for me, but for my clients.
The reduced ad revenue is affecting the platform majorly so because they had to reduce ad revenue and lay off the staff, they're having major tech issues at Twitter. It feels like there's something glitchy with the app constantly. And as much as I like to joke about Instagram being glitchy, Twitter is way more glitchy. They had the biggest mass outage that they've ever had in March of this year of 2023, and they have so many issues with analytics and reporting. They have so many issues with link sharing. Like I said, they block links randomly, so sometimes we can't even share them. It is like the wild wild west over there. As a marketer and as a professional, I've decided it's my time to bow out. So we'll take a quick break and when we come back, I'm going to share some more of my opinions about this and also share where I'm focusing my time and some suggestions for what you should do next. Let's get into that in a moment.
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Alright, I got to share some of my opinions about this too because I've really been trying to lay out the facts so far. Heavily opinionated facts, but these are even more opinions. I was on a Reddit thread the other day where someone said, if you try to Google X, you'll get porn sites like x plus a celebrity's name or X plus a news story. It doesn't feel safe. It's not safe, it's not the name. X is just, to me, it's associated with adult material, adult entertainment, and it's just a terrible name. This is my opinion. It's a terrible name, and I'm not great at naming things. Just look at my products and stuff. I'm not the best, but I do know if you are going to rebrand something, you got to get consumer and at a time where the brand was so delicate to begin with, just to randomly announce that Twitter is now X and then to do no brand rollout. It felt like his team, Elon Musk's team was scrambling to keep up.
I will say though, he did keep his word in December of 2022. He did a poll on Twitter that said, should he step down as the head of Twitter? Very interesting wording there. And then six months later they hired another CEO, Linda. Oh my God, I mess up the same every time. Linda La la carino, Linda la carino. Not sure if I'm saying that right, but she's now the CEO, so he did step down. Also, my DMs are nothing but spam. I lose followers all the time. Probably people also deleting their accounts and quitting, and my engagement is the lowest of any of the apps that I spend time on. So for me, in my opinion, I was like, it's time to go now. I do feel like as a marketer, I have the responsibility to clarify why that is, hence this podcast.
So it does feel a little self-aggrandizing like, look at me. I'm so important that everyone needs to stop leaving Twitter. However, I do think it's important to share with my fellow business owners the reason why I'm deciding to leave so that you can make the decision for yourself. When I decided to leave other platforms like Periscope or Clubhouse, I didn't make a big announcement because I wasn't really that active on the platform for that long, and even a platform like Pinterest where I've drastically slowed down to almost stopped using the platform completely. I didn't really make a whole podcast episode about why I did that, just let it fade away. I ghosted the platform basically, but with X, formerly known as Twitter, I feel like I need to share the why because I've been on the platform for so long and because it feels sudden, because it is one of the major social platforms.
So I'm not closing my account, I'm not deactivating it. I am simply sharing a post, my very last post that says, I'm out. It's been fun, but my time here is done. So I tweeted that. It's not called Tweeted anymore. See, it's called Posting Boring. Okay, I posted that to X, and sorry, I laugh every time I do that. I posted to X and then I pinned it to the top and I just won't post anymore and we'll just leave it at that. And I'm not the only one doing this. Lots of brands are doing this. Lots of folks in my circle are doing this. I think the most notable brand to me that has done this is N P R. They've left Twitter, playbill, Balenciaga. There's so many other companies that have made statements about leaving and so many more that just stop using it.
So what am I focused on next? Well, I'm focusing on other platforms. So there are text-based conversation-based platforms, which will fill the space in my heart that acts formerly known as Twitter held. I'm having a ton of fun over on Threads right now and I'll continue on LinkedIn. I think there's lots of conversations there that are just more interesting to me than what's on Twitter. I will obviously still be focusing on short form video on Instagram and LinkedIn and then long form video on YouTube. I will also be studying other platforms. Right now I'm studying Substack, which I know it's marketed as an email marketing tool, but y'all, to me, it's social. There's comment sections. I mean it's long form, but it's very social. It's almost like the long form version of YouTube. Less search though in discovery, but the written form of YouTube, I would say, I don't know.
I'm studying it. I'm interested in it. It's fascinating to me. So that's where I'm spending my time. It's a relief to not be focused on Twitter anymore. I don't feel obligated to be over there anymore. It matches the season of business that I'm in, which is a lot about releasing and letting go. So I'm happy with that. Now, what should you do? I can't really tell you what you should do. However, I'm hoping that this episode will shine a light on the state of X, formerly known as Twitter, and give you an idea of how to navigate it. Listen, if you are seeing engagement there, if your audience is there, if you like being there, continue to be there. I am hopeful that the app will change its ways in the coming years and you never know. Maybe I'll find my way back, but if you're feeling obligated to be there, if you feel like it's not representative of where you are in your business, let it go my friends.
It'll be okay. There are other apps, there are other places, especially those of you who are marketers. I do feel like those of us in the industry feel extreme pressure to be everywhere, and I'm giving you permission. You don't have to be if you don't want to be. I will say this, the future of X could be promising. Linda Yaccarino, the now CEO of Twitter tweeted this. X is the future state of unlimited interactivity centered in audio, video, messaging, payments, and banking, creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities powered by AI X will connect us all in ways we're just beginning to imagine and Miss Yaccarino, if that is true, I am excited to see that come to fruition. However, I'll be waiting until that happens and maybe I'll rejoin you when the time comes. That's all for this week's episode. I'll be back soon with another episode. Bye for now.