After Twitter on Monday struck a deal with Elon Musk and agreed to his $44 billion purchase of the platform, many have wondered if Twitter is heading for the same fate as Myspace and Tumblr.
Musk’s offer to buy Twitter drew criticism from the start, and users feared that its promise of privatization and freedom of expression would make it too similar to conservative social media apps like Parler or Donald Trump’s Truth Social. Many users have already left the platform, and those who remain fear Twitter could suffer under the new ownership.
However, Zen Media CEO and digital marketing expert Shama Hyder pointed out that there were several factors that led to the demise of Tumblr and Myspace that are not at play here.
Hyder tells news week that Twitter “serves an entirely different purpose, a different audience. The way people there are committed to the community that they have. It’s not Tumblr, it’s not Myspace, and to be honest it doesn’t have many competitors.”
Myspace allowed users to create web profile pages and connect with others with similar interests. It was launched in 2004 and thrived for several years under the ownership of Brad Greenspan, Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson. However, around 2008 Myspace seemed to be rapidly declining due to stiff competition as Facebook started to attract more and more users.
According to Product Mint, in August 2008, Facebook became the world’s largest social media platform, overtaking Myspace in user count. In 2011, Myspace laid off 600 employees and was eventually sold to Specific Media.
Tumblr went in a different direction. As a microblogging network that often encouraged anonymity, the social media platform thrived until it was bought by Yahoo in 2013.
“You have to realize that people who came to Tumblr with the development of Myspace weren’t active users of their own platform. That’s the difference,” Hyder said. “Elon Musk lives and breathes and eats on Twitter. He dived into the platform.”
Regarding Tumblr, “the people who actually make the decisions and run the platform weren’t users of the platform,” Hyder added.
That’s not to say that Twitter won’t face its own problems in going through the changes Musk planned, but Hyder did point out that they’re different from what Tumblr and Myspace have had to deal with.
“Myspace and Tumblr. They also existed at a time when censorship and misinformation were not the norm,” Hyder said. “I mean, think of Myspace, the early, early days. They have never addressed this level of misinformation.”
Early in negotiations with Twitter, Musk wrote in a letter that his intention was to make Twitter more of a free speech platform. “I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the world, and I believe that free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” he wrote.
Hyder tells news week that “it will be interesting to see how he approaches moderation because Twitter has been very challenged in the past.”
She added that “obviously it’s going to be interesting from a business perspective too, because at the end of the day you just have to follow the dollars, right? ‘You know what, we’re just not okay being on this platform anymore.’ So I think that’s yet to be seen as well, but those are the challenges that are much more unique to Twitter.”
https://www.newsweek.com/why-twitter-wont-suffer-same-fate-myspace-tumblr-after-musk-purchase-1701145 Why Twitter Won’t Meet the Same Fate as Myspace, Tumblr After Musk Purchase