US billionaire Elon Musk acquired the microblogging site Twitter last week for $44 billion, one of the largest buyouts in history. The deal has raised questions among Twitter employees and the public about Musk’s strategy and vision for the social media network and its future.
Musk has said that he wanted the platform to be as broadly inclusive and trusted as possible. He also said that he would make Twitter transparent about how tweets are promoted or demoted and that he wanted its software to be publicly available for critique.
What would be the impact of the acquisition deal on influencer marketers and the influencer marketing landscape as a whole?
According to Misbah Quadri, Founder & CEO, Monofys, “Just like with everything else, the Twitter buyout comes with its own set of pros and cons – a tightrope that brands, influencers, and influencer marketing agencies will need to walk with utmost dexterity.
The very fact that Musk plans to put Twitter algorithms out in the open while also registering public feedback is a green signal for the takeover. Moreover, his strong stance on removing Twitter bots, pulling down fake/inactive accounts and making tweets editable – is also going to be a game-changer for the influencer marketing world.
“I am wary of this statement: – “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” made by Musk. This might lead to difficult situations being created for brands, which will require extensive firefighting. Every brand strategy will be open to interpretation and can give a boost to the already thriving cancel culture in general. All in all, I believe that there will be immense pressure on the new “takeover team” to generate novel and effective means to appeal to brands and influencers alike to optimise consumer engagement,” adds Misbah.
“When it comes to influencer marketing on Twitter, brands usually look for Twitter influencers who can provide early reviews to potential customers on the platform. Elon Musk is more likely to look into making impactful changes to the business model of a company that will drastically affect the platform, which could lead to changes that affect the user experience. These changes could mean significant changes in influencer marketing globally and in India,” observes Ishan Jindal, Founder & CEO-Wobb.
According to Akshae Golekar, Founder & CEO, Optiminastic Media, the significant changes in influencer marketing because of Musk would start on the microblogging site which he recently acquired, which would be with the change in Twitter’s business model. If the microblogging site moves in the direction of other social media platforms where the algorithm is more creator-friendly, then there could be a significant push for influencer campaigns on the platform. Musk intends to do the same, and the edit button is the first step toward that.
“There is also news of Twitter’s algorithm going public and if that happens, it would help a lot of creators understand the platform better, and accordingly, we shall see a lot of new influencers coming out of the platform,” he adds.