Forced by investors to abandon ambitions for Metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg could exploit Elon Musk’s lack of experience by launching an alternative for the Twitter network.
Coming in with the same uncompromising attitude that brought him success at the helm of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk seems to have stepped out of his comfort zone at the helm of Twitter, with aggressive cost-cutting and a constant stream of negative/controversial news about the microblogging platform seriously eroding user trust. And Musk doesn’t seem to realize that from here to the network’s fall into irrelevance isn’t too far, especially if the competition comes up with an alternative to the liking of increasingly disgruntled fans.
The good news for the Twitter chief is that Meta is most likely not such a competitor, with Mark Zuckerberg’s company more interested in monetizing Musk’s clumsiness than addressing fan discontent. Thus, there is little chance that the Twitter alternative prepared by Meta will succeed in truly relevant areas, such as the privacy of user-uploaded data, or the promotion of free speech by avoiding algorithmic promotion of posts or censorship of posts on controversial topics.
Another motivation for Meta would also be Mastodon, a Twitter alternative that seems to be having some success in some regions of the world, such as the US.
“We believe there is an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”
A Twitter-like app would allow Zuckerberg’s company to mitigate some of the colossal losses (tens of billions of dollars) already made with the Metaverse project. In the meantime, Twitter is trying to maintain its advertising base from the platform’s takeover by entrepreneur Elon Musk late last year.
Many companies have dropped advertising contracts in response to Twitter’s controversial moves to reinstate suspended accounts and turn the account verification option into a counter-cost service, lacking the safeguards offered by the former administration’s intransigence on the security front. And this led to abuse of the platform’s most coveted “distinction”, with long-term consequences for Twitter’s reputation.