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Twitter’s drama means the door is vast open for competitors.
Photo: Cristian Dina (Shutterstock)

Jody Serrano covers on-line communities for Gizmodo. Since Elon Musk determined to purchase Twitter earlier this yr, it appears she has been cursed (blessed?) to put in writing about Twitter or Musk every day. She has lined medical misinformation on social media extensively on matters starting from natural abortions to antidepressants.

The prime story:

2022 was the yr of Twitter and Elon Musk: the shit present that retains on giving. While we’ll proceed to observe the destruction of outdated, Pre-Musk Twitter in 2023, it can create the primary actual opening for a brand new social media platform in years.

That doesn’t imply that Twitter will die anytime quickly, however there are lots of people who don’t like what the blue hen app has became. Those people are in search of a brand new social media platform that can give them a microblogging expertise much like, or higher than, what Old Twitter supplied.

There are already opponents: Since Musk took over Twitter in late October, Mastodon’s user base has surged from 300,000 month-to-month energetic customers to 2.5 million. Hive was talked about as a promising early contender however shut down briefly after going through safety points. There’s additionally Post News, based by Noam Bardin, the previous CEO of Waze. And former Twitter workers are behind Spill, a “next gen social platform that puts culture first,” set to launch in late January.

What we’re ready for:

  • A Twitter clone from Meta: It’s unbelievable that Meta, the king of copycats, hasn’t seized on the implosion over at Twitter to debut its personal clone. It actually has the cash, expertise, and brainpower to take action. While selecting between an organization run by Mark Zuckerberg and one run by Elon Musk is the equal of selecting what stage of hell you need to reside on, I select Zuck over Musk any day. At least there are nonetheless content material pointers, moderation groups, and PR folks over there.
  • More state bans of TikTok: Currently, more than a dozen U.S. states ban the usage of TikTok on authorities gadgets. Congress has banned TikTok from gadgets operated by the chief department, which incorporates federal companies. After the ban was handed, the House of Representatives proceeded to ban TikTok on official gadgets utilized by members and workers. The rising anti-TikTok sentiment is prone to result in bans in additional states in an effort to stress ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese mum or dad firm, to divest TikTok’s U.S. operations. Considering the icy relations between the U.S. and China, each are unlikely to again down from this face off.
  • Parler will shut down: Kanye West’s professed intention to purchase right-wing social media app Parler after he was restricted from Instagram and Twitter was in all probability the largest push Parler obtained all yr. After West, legally often called Ye, backed out of the deal, it’s arduous to see what stays that makes Parler price protecting round.

Unconventional knowledge:

Elon Musk’s transformation from famend innovator into Twitter despot has turned him into probably the most unliked particular person in tech. Musk’s title is popping right into a legal responsibility. Tesla shares have misplaced about 60% of their value this yr, Neuralink is under federal investigation for potential animal abuse, and Twitter is a sizzling mess.

All the fury and discuss round Musk has meant that Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg has seen his sins drowned out by The Elon Musk Show. Musk laid off about 4,000 folks at Twitter (excluding contractors), made enjoyable of these he laid off, and even refused to pay Twitter’s former govt crew. Zuckerberg, in the meantime, laid off 11,000 workers, however took accountability for what had gone mistaken and supplied beneficiant severance packages, together with 16 weeks of paid depart, six months of medical insurance, and immigration help. He thanked those that have been laid off for his or her service and mentioned Meta wouldn’t be the place it was right now with out their arduous work.

In 2023, Mark Zuckerberg will rebuild his picture and construct goodwill for his firms. Facebook’s person progress will proceed to sluggish, however not decline. Zuck has a chance right here to make good on his previous apologies and guarantees to do issues otherwise: Whether he stops tinkering with the metaverse lengthy sufficient to take action is actual query.

People to observe:

  • Jonathan Greenblatt: CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. Greenblatt has been an outspoken critic of hate speech, misinformation, and anti-Semitism on social media. It will likely be fascinating to see what he thinks of any of the brand new social media platforms vying for Twitter’s outdated customers.
  • Dr. Ryan Marino: Toxicologist and skilled on fentanyl. 2022 was the yr when fentanyl went viral, which signifies that a complete lot of misinformation about fentanyl began making the rounds. Marino is arguably the perfect fentanyl educator on social media and isn’t afraid to name out legislation enforcement and lawmakers spewing fentanyl myths.
  • Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell: CEO of Spill and former Twitter worker in command of the @twitter deal with. Spill is the primary social media challenge spearheaded by former Twitter workers that has gained steam. Terrell has acknowledged that Spill won’t be one other Twitter, so it’ll be fascinating to see what precisely these tweeps provide you with.

Companies to observe:

  • Post News: As it tries to take Twitter’s place amongst mainstream social media giants, Post News presents an fascinating mannequin for media. It goals to alter information consumption and permit readers to pay to learn per article as an alternative of subscribing to the publication. Its success relies on media publishers opting in and customers shopping for in, however may current an answer to media’s monetary woes.
  • Reddit: Ever since Twitter turned an Elon Musk firm, I’ve been ready for Reddit to do… one thing. Out of all of the mainstream social media platforms, Reddit is probably the most much like Twitter. It additionally already has tons of close-knit communities and the power to simply create new ones, one thing that’s helpful to Twitter communities like #ScienceTwitter and #PsychologicalHealthTwitter, amongst many others. Attracting Twitter’s crowd may contain permitting customers to put up updates exterior of subreddits.

A longshot guess:

Jack Dorsey turns into so consumed by guilt over what’s taking place to Twitter that he convinces Elon Musk to let him run Twitter—for the third time. Musk will agree since he and Dorsey are buddies and since he can’t discover anybody else who desires the CEO job. However, they’ll conflict nearly instantly, main Musk to fireplace Dorsey from Twitter (again).

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