Twitter turns into X: How will it impact eCommerce?

  • By now, you're likely aware that Twitter has turned into X. Let's reflect on what this change could mean for eCommerce.

  • This post is based on various leaks and our understanding of the activities of its CEO, Elon Musk, a well-known figure in the digital and business world.
  • Twitter and eCommerce: A Yes and No Relationship

  • The blue bird platform has always had an impact on public opinion, often effectively setting real-time trends. Being a trending topic was something many aspired to (and others sometimes dreaded).

    With 500 million monthly users, a relatively small number compared to Facebook or Instagram, Twitter is still capable of making a significant impact.

    However, this potential has not fully translated into a strong relationship with e-commerce. This might be due to the "aggressive" interactions of many users, but for businesses, Twitter has often become more of an "awkward" customer service channel rather than a promotional one.

    Many people have come to see Twitter as the ideal platform for voicing complaints about shipping, pricing, or poor service. Unsatisfied customers have transformed it into a place where companies have sometimes chosen not to establish a presence (note: looking the other way is a bad idea).
  • Meanwhile, Twitter campaigns haven't been performing exceptionally well. Of course, they gain some reach and interaction, but they rarely lead to conversions. This could be because users are less inclined to make purchases on this platform compared to more aspirational networks, or due to the prevalence of automated profiles or bots. Additionally, it might be relatively more expensive, or importantly, users are being bombarded with ads to the point of developing ad blindness.
  • Elon Musk Buys Twitter to Make it Profitable

  • Elon Musk's vision for Twitter, as presented to the media after the acquisition, sounded somewhat romantic. He spoke of returning the platform to its original spirit, making it a bastion of free expression. He portrayed himself as a sort of philanthropic messiah of social media.

    Time has shown that his primary goals were less altruistic. He wanted Twitter to be profitable at any cost. He laid off a significant portion of the workforce and demanded unwavering dedication from the remaining employees.

    For user monetization, he went for a different model. While the pre-Musk Twitter provided profile verification to public and notable users, the post-Elon Twitter turned verification into a business.

    This gave birth to Twitter Blue, a subscription program that, for $8 per month, offers users certain appealing features such as verification, reduced advertising, tweet editing, and longer tweets. In essence, Twitter transitioned into a freemium model.
  • Twitter turns into X

  • The next step is even more controversial. In recent days, the blue bird has vanished, replaced by a more somber image and a short and direct name: Twitter is now X.
  • When you have an established brand with as much support as Twitter, completely rebranding by changing the name and image is a risky move. True, Facebook recently became Meta, but it wasn't just a whim: its brand had been tarnished by data privacy scandals, fines, and the infamous issue of fake news.
  • So Why the Change?

  • Because what Elon Musk is interested in from Twitter are its users, not necessarily the platform itself. His vision has always been about creating an online tool that encompasses multiple services: chat, payment gateway (remember, he launched PayPal), hiring services, and more.

    He aims to emulate the Chinese platform WeChat, which began as a chat app like WhatsApp but has evolved into a conglomerate that integrates:

    • A powerful and versatile payment system called WeChat Pay. It enables the use of a virtual wallet, quick QR code payments, payments within third-party apps, online store purchases, money transfers, and more.
    • A social network, WeChat Moments, where users can share status updates and multimedia files (akin to Twitter).
    • Mini apps that operate, with limitations, within WeChat itself and crucially, generate substantial monthly advertising revenue.
    • A professional chat function, Enterprise WeChat, designed to rival professional productivity tools like Slack, Asana, and even Teams.
  • This array of services increases user engagement and usage scenarios, making the platform more attractive to e-commerce and online advertisers.
  • Do you believe the fact that Twitter is now X will change the way you see it? Will you add it into your digital marketing strategy? Let us know!

  • Images | Unsplash.

Miguel Nicolás

Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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