“You’re missing out on your share of the advertising revenue!” is what keeps screaming at me lately. No, this is not a column of pushers who want to push their structural sales, this is X, formerly Twitter, with almost every login recently. In order to share in this fantastic advertising revenue, I would have to subscribe to X Premium. Which would cost me just 99.96 euros per year, with of course completely unclear prospects of what would come back. What sounds almost as good as the totally valuable facsimile Bibles in the book club or unique CD collections from Time Life used to be, in my opinion, is also one thing: an indicator of the increasing desperation at X.
Since 2012, Axel Kannenberg has been scouring the endless expanses of the Internet for heise online for news that no one has ever seen before. Masters the noble art of insult fencing. In 2013, enjoyed a kebab for the equivalent of several thousand euros (according to today’s Bitcoin rate).
Because even those who are grateful for their “share of advertising revenue!” waived, will soon have to pay for platform use. Owner and announcement king Elon Musk graciously announced this during his slightly bizarre meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister. But of course, according to Musk, forcing everyone to subscribe is only about the central problem of the platform: bots.
No problems except bots?
Yeah right. Bots, a huge problem, must be combated. The botched takeover with a clusterfuck of layoffs, which certainly affected a lot of people who could have really done something against bots, is probably no problem. Added to this is the billions in debt that has been saddled with the service. And another significant loss of key advertising customers, which may also have something to do with Musk’s weak impulse control when making public statements. No, bots are the problem. Really!
I still like to stay away from the mentality Olympics, Twitter/X, because Musk is also very enthusiastic about trolling the left-wing milieu. But the fact that a platform that is practical for my work and that I used to enjoy using privately is being managed into a situation like Germany after Merkel is quite concerning to me. I have already chalked up my attempt in February to somehow defend Musk’s actions as one of the embarrassing mistakes that one accumulates in life.
Forced subscription as a user deterrent
At the beginning of the year, Musk announced an optional subscription to Twitter without advertising. This gave me hope for more subscription options for pro features. But instead, previously free APIs and the Tweetdeck service were simply moved behind the paywall. And now Musk really thinks that his platform is so unique and that people will pay gratefully if he seals the basic free service with a paywall? I’m sorry, but I’m afraid no one needs Twitter to conduct online debates and present themselves as an ethical opinion holder.
The rank and file have learned that social media is free because you are milked as a data cow. If the plebs withdraw because they don’t see any added value in a subscription, this will have consequences for the Twitter elite: Then at some point all the influencers will look for another stage if they can no longer find enough people to listen to them. And so X/Twitter would slowly drift into nowhere as MuskVZ, along with plans for a super app that no one needs.
See you on Bluesky when they finally come out of their invite beta. I wish Elon Musk lots of fun fiddling while his platform burns.
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