The Demise of Twitter in 2023 and the Potential Bleak Future for X

When Elon Musk first took over Twitter, we in the tech media speculated that the acquisition might bring about the platform’s demise. Some suggested that his attempts at cost-cutting would damage Twitter’s infrastructure, or that mass resignations would lead to instability. However, Musk’s actual actions caused Twitter’s downfall in a more boring and stupid manner than anyone could have imagined.

Musk killed Twitter by making it useless for real-time information, limiting conversations to those willing to pay, filling timelines with spammy blue-check accounts, and re-platforming actual Nazis and far-right trolls. This led to the site’s largest remaining advertisers and most prominent users abandoning the platform. While the Twitter website still exists, it is merely a shadow of its former self.

The decline began when Musk banned third-party client apps and put the rest of the platform’s API behind an expensive paywall. This move alienated influential communities on Twitter and showed Musk’s focus on commodifying Twitter’s data.

Musk’s poorly thought out paid verification scheme led to chaos and an influx of spammers and scammers signing up for verification. This, combined with the promise of a share of ad revenue, drastically altered the dynamics of conversation and made Twitter even less relevant.

The final blow to Twitter came when Musk announced that the company would now be known as X, severing any ties to the old expectations and norms associated with Twitter. The rebrand represented a liberation from Twitter, according to CEO Linda Yaccarino.

Musk’s actions have almost single-handedly wiped out what remained of Twitter’s ad business and driven away many of the platform’s biggest and most-followed accounts. X’s infrastructure continues to crumble, and the platform has seen steady declines in traffic and engagement. Meanwhile, competitors like Meta-owned Threads are surging in popularity.