I’m not sure if this is technically Technology news, but I can remove this post if it’s in the wrong community

Archive link: http://archive.today/3XM6s

Musk brought up the idea of charging all users of X/Twitter during a wide-ranging conversation focused on AI that featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. “[We’re] moving to a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk told Netanyahu, claiming that it is the only way to eliminate the problem of bots, as reported by Bloomberg’s Dave Lee.

Musk didn’t mention timing of his plan to charge X/Twitter users, nor did he say how much it would cost.

Musk, who also is CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has said X/Twitter ad sales have plunged 50% since he bought the company. “We’re still negative cash flow, due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load,” Musk posted on July 15.

      • Unfortunately, Twitter was only up for sale because it wasn’t able to effectively monetize. On the other hand, Meta has figured out how to make money hand over fist.

        I think the easiest route to get Musk to own Meta is if we goaded him + Zuck into a pay per view fist fight over ownership of Meta.

        • Twitter was profitable in the years before covid. They made a net income of $1.2 billion in 2018.

          They made a slight (compared to their revenue) loss during the pandemic, presumably because advertisers generally were willing to spend less, but they were still earning more than enough - simply cut a few costs and they’d be profitable again. Or just wait for the market to improve since from the sounds of it they had more than enough savings to ride it out (that appeared to be their plan).

          They didn’t sell to Musk because they were desperate, they sold to Musk because he signed a contract guaranteeing he would pay far more than the company was worth. If I owned a house that was worth a million dollars, and someone offered me ten million, hell yeah would I sell that house even if I wasn’t really interested in selling.

    • It really feels like a lot of social media platforms are intentionally self-sabotaging themselves. I keep expecting them to die off every time something like this happens, but they appear to continue on regardless.

      I think that social media sites actually dying off is actually impossible with enough inertia (even if their base decreases) and that’s why they are emboldened to do such anti-consumer practices.

      All this to say that I’m sure Steve Huffman has immediately started furiously texting everyone he knows about his new idea to charge for Reddit as well as a boosted version of Gold called “Alien Orange” or something.

      • Even if a social network loses 99,99% of the user base due to charging to use it, those left are the ones that see no problem paying to use it, so they are more likely to eat up some insane pricing, which would help recoup losses from a smaller user base. Basically whales.

        I think the only way to try to kill a social network is by going full scorched earth on it. Remove all your comments, or change them to be an annoying copy pasted comment about why you’re getting off the platform. And even then I don’t think it is helpful, I did that with Reddit but was forced to leave technical posts intact because I feared I might prevent someone from solving their issue.

          • It’s the regenerative braking version of monetizing a website.

            It seems silly to not have actual physical brakes on a car and to rely on electric inertia to slow down, it works well in practice. When the pressure starts being applied it may seem like the vehicle is not slowing down but the process of slowing down has begun.

            Twitter has had financial brakes applied to it and you just got to wait a little while and it’s either going to slow to a crawl and then stop, a new conductor is going to be put on board, or it’s going to completely derail.

      • Maybe it’s like when email scammers intentionally leave in tons of spelling and grammar mistakes. Anyone that notices probably wasn’t going to fall for the scam, anyway, leaving only the weak after culling the strong.

        I’m not completely sure what the point would be, other than leaving you with a propaganda tool without dissenting comments built in, an idiot echo chamber. Who knows, maybe that’s worth the amount of financial loss he’s caused.

        Maybe he’s trying to revert back to Minimal Viable Product while keeping only the dumb and bigoted.

        Or maybe he’s just not as smart as everyone thought.

  •  lonewalk   ( @lonewalk@lemm.ee ) 
    737 days ago

    So I mean, if this was in lieu of data collection and tracking, this is what more of the software world should actually do. Running platforms isn’t free, and making the user the product is a malicious and unsustainable solution.

    That said, I certainly wouldn’t pay Twitter - I think I’d rather donate to a Mastodon instance, or pay for some other private alternative. Musk is awful for so many reasons, holds way too much power, and deserves no money of mine.

      • Yup. You can see this kind of stuff happening with ads in things you buy.

        There was a model of “ad supported” and “pay to own”

        But some exec figured out you could do both and double dip.

        There is no world in which things get more consumer friendly unless it’s forced

    • That’s actually a good point about how some services do require payment to provide safe service to their users. A very close to home example would be your local Lemmy instance. In order to run the servers and keep it ad (and tracking) free, each instance needs donations from their users. The same is true for Mastodon, as you mentioned.

      The problem is, I would be shocked if Twitter actually provided a safer (or improved in any way) service. There are a other issues at play as well, but they all basically boil down to most users not wanting too give money to Twitter, and if they were ok with that, they would already have purchased Twitter Blue.

    • I would love if there was a platform where they charged a very small amount monthly eg. I £1/€1/$1 in exchange for not using my data for anything. I love lemmy but I’m entirely at the mercy of the instance maintainers and there is no guarantee my data won’t be used

      • It’s always going to come down to trusting someone though right ?

        Even with a larger corporation who tells you they don’t sell your data, it would only take 1 employee to see the opportunity to sell 1 billion email addresses or something.

        Also in the fediverse your data is pretty much freely available to everyone. Instances need to publish the list of users who have upvoted a given post or comment. Anyone so inclined could build a profile of comments and posts you’ve liked from freely available data.

        Lemmy still feels a bit wild - with lots of instances springing up in the last few months and not really any time for admins to demonstrate their attitudes to different issues.

        Mastodon is a little more mature though, I’ve been at fosstodon.org for a few years now. The admins there are regular participants in the community. I think I’m on the “Elon” tier in their patreon - $11 a month.

        • This, I think, is actually the worst part about Lemmy. Instead of having more control and privacy you have less because everything is out in the open. Which is terrible for the users and could also have a chilling effect on the platform.

          What’s worse is that this is never really communicated to the users.

          • I can understand your position but I don’t see it that way.

            I think lemmy is a fairly early iteration of the fediverse and it’s still finding its own format and associated culture.

            For example, maybe more people will start using multiple accounts, or use accounts only for a few months before discarding them.

            A lot of redditors treated accounts like some kind of alternate self, to be manicured and maintained indefinitely, which might not be the right move in the fediverse.

            Also, a lot of things aren’t really communicated to users on most platforms. The information is there if anyone cares to invest even the briefest moment in understanding the fediverse

            • But isn’t interoperability of instances kinda the main selling point of fediverse? If you really end up having multiple accounts across the site that seems like a drawback to me, not something to hope for. Besides, having “one self” is not a bad thing either. I’d rather have people use one account on which I can consistently see their views or behaviors or having tons of alts to hide behind and switch as the general opinion shifts. You can’t really have a proper community if it’s just smoke and mirrors of alts and throwaway accounts.

              • Perhaps, but all of these points rely on a subjective definition of what a community is, and I think that’s still emerging in the fediverse. A Facebook community is different to a reddit community which is different to a lemmy community.

  • So, I am starting to really believe his goal is to just drive a stake into the heart of twitter.

    Either that, or he is trying to prove a point regarding something.

    I don’t think there is any possible way, he is so dumb as to make all of these horrible decisions regarding twitter… This has got to be destroying twitter by design, on purpose.

    I mean, seriously… he has done literally everything that you SHOULDN’T do. Fire the majority of the company. Destroy over a decade worth of very good branding. Alienate all investors. Alienate the user base. Piss off the remaining users more. Drive away advertisers…

    FFS, the dude has a company that sends rockets into space, and previously, the world’s premier electric car company… What in the hell is his odd obsession with choking the life out of twitter, that has been costing him money left and right due to absolutely horrible publicity.

  • I know it is a popular sentiment that people should migrate to Mastodon, but I personally think people will migrate wherever the people they follow migrate to.

    With this in mind, I suspect Bluesky will be the platform to usurp Twitter; but with Twitter chasing off all their users in the near future, it may go to whichever platform is readily open at the time.

    I’m very curious to see if Bluesky or Spill open up when Twitter closes the door on its users. If not, Mastodon may have a shot at being the next large platform…

        •  barsoap   ( @barsoap@lemm.ee ) 
          7 days ago

          Governments switching away from Twitter won’t suddenly switch to bluesky after already having set up mastodon, and overall similar incentives (mostly the control that comes with self-hosting) exist for corporations though those don’t have an incentive to be early adaptors.

          Sure there’s always going to be a baseline presence of those types of users on basically all platforms having any kind of general reach precisely for general communication but if you are an architect and want to follow the building code department of the ministry of – who the fuck is responsible for that? dunno, in any case, no you won’t do that on bluesky. Why would they want to get burned twice by a platform when some state IT department somewhere runs software they can use for the purpose.

          • @barsoap
            Both government and corporation, having a choice between having 30k users be reached by them, or having 3M people be reached by them, will choose the latter.
            Most likely both government and corporation, having a choice between reaching 300k users and having to spend resources on maintaining an instance, and reaching 300k but not having to maintain an instance, will choose the latter.

            • The building code department isn’t interested in reaching the general public. Noone part of the general public the fuck cares about new rules regarding minimum distances between outlets and windows in new construction. They have their official journal which is replicated on the ministry’s web site and which they’ll gladly replicate to mastodon – but dealing with a foreign private company, its mod policies and whatnot nope, they really couldn’t care less.

        • Maybe I missed something in this thread but it seem like the point is “my friends would be there”? Like the same thing we hear over and over with every shit platform.

          I can now comment on Wordpress blogs from Mastodon, follow PeerTube channels, host it myself in my closet, BBC is on there, Flipboard joined, Tumbr said it’ll join, Facebook’s Threads said they apparently want too. I see goverments and parties there. Yet the argument is “people would be on Bluesky”. No they won’t, look at the boring corporate logo, who would leave awesome community of animals for blue box? Or am I missing something?

          • @smileyhead There are social and technical issues. Discoverability / visibility accross instances is an issue. Jumping on people that they use CW wrong is an issue. Moderation is an issue.
            In that thread you have how those make minorities consider it too much hassle to be here.
            I’ve talked to an artist for whom those were too much hassle to be here. Both are happy on bluesky apparently.

            • Discoverability / visibility accross instances is an issue Is Bluesky somehow fixing this without centralized IDs?

              Other things are just who is using the network. And what must be said, is that all those toxic people would migrate to a new popular standard too! The point is that we should have standard for social media years ago. The mindset that the app you are using must be somehow tied to who are you interacting with is something created by centralized platforms. I don’t care if people I hate are on the same network, I join a server that matches my values or create my own and everyone’s happy.

      • Yes, but it’s invite-only. Either you join the wait-list and get lucky, or someone gives you an invite (members get an invite to hand out to friends every 10 days or so). Amusingly this has resulted in a large chunk of blüski being furry and LGBT, due to how tightly knit the communities are. I know a lot of the furry discord servers I’ve been in regularly have people openly offering invites, whereas most of the non-furry servers seem to be completely unaware of how active it is or that it even exists (my experience is that blüski feels way more active than Twitter due to it not giving preferential treatment to Elon shills; you’re far more likely to have random people seeing your posts).