The king of controversy buys the kingdom

The acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk is exactly the kind of firework in the butt that the stale platform needs.

23 June 2022

Billionaire businessman Elon Musk.

Your reaction to the news that Elon Musk is buying Twitter is a fairly good barometer for your political leanings. Those on the progressive left tend to fear their favourite online playground will be turned into a hate-filled mosh pit, while those on the anti-establishment right tend to be delighted at the prospect of the return of ‘free speech. But, as is so often the case, the most interesting part of the story has nothing to do with politics.

Twitter has been in the doldrums for years. Since the company went public in 2013, its count of monthly active users (MAUs) has grown by 65%, from 240 million to around 400 million this year. That would be acceptable growth for a chain of grocery stores, but it's pitiful for a social media platform. Over the same period, Facebook's MAU has grown 3 000%, from 100 million to nearly three billion.

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