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Twitter's future is uncertain. Now what?
Will Twitter actually go down and what to do, if it does
With four days left until Thanksgiving, you likely have little but turkey on your minds. But before we indulge in the annual custom of succumbing to a self-induced food coma, we’ve got three more days to go.
This means we still have time to focus on building our online presence before our feeds are full of food pictures (though, who knows, maybe the photo of your Thanksgiving feast is the one that will go viral).
Ready? Let’s get to it.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re likely aware of the Twitter drama that unfolded in the past week. To sum up: after laying off half of Twitter’s workforce, the company’s new owner - Elon Musk - asked the remaining employees to either commit to working extra hard or quit. Many opted for the latter. This spurred numerous predictions of doom-and-gloom to come, with hashtags like #Twittershutdown and #RIPTwitter trending…on Twitter.
Now, of course, there is some risk involved here. We’ve noticed the algorithm becoming more volatile over the last month or so, and with a much more reduced team, Twitter might face challenges maintaining the platform and shipping new features. However, we’re far from siding with the #RIPTwitter camp.
Why Twitter won’t shut down
It’s unlikely that Twitter’s entire user base will migrate to a different platform overnight. We all have too much to lose. Too many other people are there - both the people we follow and want to connect with, and the people we already know. The larger someone’s Twitter audience, the less likely they are to leave and start from zero on a different platform. The network effects are far too strong.
Of course, there’s the risk of the platform itself breaking and being down, now that there are fewer people to support it. However, it’s unlikely that Twitter needed as many engineers as it had just to maintain what was already there, but even if that was the case, we are yet to see anything breaking.
This may very well change in the future, as existing staff rushes to build new features, while maintaining the existing platform. The algorithm will be fickle for a while, which will likely affect your distribution. We don’t know what exactly is coming, but one thing is sure: a lot will change.
What you can do to adapt
This can be scary, especially if you’ve made Twitter your primary platform. None of us want to lose the professional contacts, idea exchanges and friendships we’ve made there. So, what’s the right thing to do in this scenario?
As you know, we’d be the last ones to advise you to be on all social platforms. However, if there was a right time to hedge your bets and start build your presence on a different platform, it will be now. This way, you will take less of a hit in the unlikely case that Twitter goes down completely.
The best thing to do is add no more than one platform. Depending on your goals and where your audience hangs out, this will vary. If you’re targeting consumers, Instagram or TikTok will likely make sense. If your audience is largely B2B, then you will likely want to focus on LinkedIn or start a newsletter. The important thing is to start small and experiment, so you can figure out what works best on your second platform of choice.
Needless to say, your reach will be smaller in the beginning. However, there are things you can do to seed your presence on the new platform and ensure you maintain the relationships you’ve already built on the old one. We’ll go into detail about this next time.
Until then, enjoy your long weekends. We’re thankful you’re here.
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