November 1, 2022

Snippet: I Don’t Think People Really Want Another Twitter ☍

Matt Birchler:

I know the most likely outcome that we all keep using Twitter the same as we always have, but there is definitely an energy about Twitter lately that has people thinking, “do I even like doing this?” […]

I see more people in direct message chats and Discords these days, and people seem to get energy from them in a way you just don’t from Twitter anymore. Twitter may be a hellscape, but I’m not sure people want to start up another hellscape, just with different ownership.

I’m giving Micro.blog another try and I’m trying to use it in its own way, rather than a Twitter clone and I think that’s going to make it more enjoyable for me. Marshall McLuhan’s words haven’t felt more true.

October 28, 2022

Snippet: Elon Musk Officially Owns Twitter ☍

Amanda Silberling and Taylor Hatmaker for TechCrunch:

It’s for real this time. After months of legal drama, bad memes, and will-they-or-won’t-they-chaos to put your favorite rom-com to shame, Elon Musk has closed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Musk sealed the deal Thursday night, taking Twitter private and ousting a handful of top executives — CEO Parag Agrawal included — in the process. […]

Musk reportedly cleaned house on Thursday, firing CFO Ned Segal, Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust Vijaya Gadde and General Counsel Sean Edgett right out of the gate. Though it’s still an aggressive and abrupt day one move, Agrawal was inevitable given his well-documented clashes and a failed virtual meeting with Musk. It’s also no surprise that Gadde was among the first to go, in spite of being a well-respected figure in the company. Musk previously singled the top executive out with accusations of “left wing bias” over her role in policy decision making at Twitter, driving a wave of racist hate and harassment her way.

Part of me hopes that since Musk likes Twitter, it will be run from a place that users will appreciate. On the other hand, cleaning house on day one and throwing around phrases like “free speech” and “left wing bias” is a bit concerning.

October 27, 2022

Snippet: Twitter is Losing Its Most Active Users ☍

Sheila Dang for Reuters (via Nick Heer):

The reality, according to internal Twitter research seen by Reuters, goes far beyond the handful of examples of celebrities ghosting their own accounts. Twitter is struggling to keep its most active users – who are vital to the business – engaged, underscoring a challenge faced by the Tesla chief executive as he approaches a deadline to close his $44 billion deal to buy the company.

These “heavy tweeters” account for less than 10% of monthly overall users but generate 90% of all tweets and half of global revenue. Heavy tweeters have been in “absolute decline” since the pandemic began, a Twitter researcher wrote in an internal document titled “Where did the Tweeters Go?”

A “heavy tweeter” is defined as someone who logs in to Twitter six or seven days a week and tweets about three to four times a week, the document said.

While I still use Twitter, I don’t enjoy it as much and am far less likely to spend a lot of time on it as in year’s past. It’s almost as if allowing a particular main character (and those like him) who repeatedly violated the rules and made it a toxic place over the last few years drove people away in the long term in favor of engagement in the short term.

Snippet: The Ad Store ☍

Nick Heer:

I am not a business person. I am sure there are fine arguments to be made by armchair CEOs on Twitter about how this is a reasonable decision for bolstering the price of Apple stock or a minor aesthetic grievance for a device that mostly functions the same as it did last week. But I am equally certain a company does not improve customer satisfaction by ensuring no money is left on the table. There is barely competition among airlines, so they all charge you for the privilege of taking clothing to your destination in a suitcase. The lack of choice in operating systems means vendors can increasingly extract money from customers, happiness be damned. What are you going to do — switch to Android and Windows? Good luck.

Snippet: Apple Pauses Gambling Ads in App Store Pages After Developers Complain ☍

Joe Rossignol for MacRumors:

Apple today rolled out new ad placements in the App Store on the iPhone, allowing developers to advertise their apps in more places, including the main Today tab and in the “You Might Also Like” section at the bottom of individual app listings.

Just hours later, several prominent developers have complained about distasteful ads for gambling apps appearing in their own App Store listings outside of their control, including Marco Arment, Simon Støvring, and others.

While I understand Apple has to find new ways to make money to keep analysts and shareholders happy, this was one of the slimiest things in recent memory. More ads in general just cheapens the App Store, adds clutter, and sometimes the algorithm just plain sucks (Gambling for addictions? Hinge for marriage help?). I get there’s money to be made, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Shortly after the outcry, Apple did backtrack things a bit:

In a statement shared with MacRumors today, Apple said it has paused gambling ads in App Store app pages, with no further details provided:

We have paused ads related to gambling and a few other categories on App Store product pages.

While it’s a start, none of this should’ve made it past the “here’s an idea” stage. Do better, Apple.