The eXit door
Are you planning on leaving X?
In today’s newsletter:
The eXit Door: Are You Planning on Leaving X?
Social Snack: Instagram Tests Polls in the Comments Section
The Definition of Funny: One Account Blending Humour and Education
The eXit Door
It’s been one year since Elon Musk took over Twitter (now X). And there are increasing signs that users are starting to log off, for good.
In October 2022, the self-labelled “Chief Twit” celebrated his acquisition by sharing a video of himself walking into Twitter’s headquarters holding a sink with the caption, “Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!” We had no idea what was about to come.
Since then, there have been mass firings, the blue legacy checkmark for celebrities, journalists and other notable people was removed, and the Twitter Blue subscription was changed so that anyone could buy a blue verification checkmark. And, of course, the Twitter name and blue bird logo are now gone.
That’s just a small taste of what’s been going on at X, and more recently, Elon has started testing making it a pay-only platform. Meanwhile, disinformation has been running rampant. And unlike when he first took over, there are now viable options that users can move to.
Let’s talk about it, and how it may impact your own X accounts…
1/4 Tiered $ accounts
So, here’s the latest: Elon Musk posted that he is going to be launching tiered X Premium subscription models. “One is lower cost with all features, but no reduction in ads, and the other is more expensive, but has no ads,” he posted on Oct. 20th. That’s it for details. Currently, X Premium is available for about $8 per month. Not sure if that’s going to be the higher or lower-tier pricing.
But here’s where things get really interesting. X is also testing a program called “Not a Bot” in New Zealand and the Philippines where users will pay a “$1 annual subscription to be able to post & interact with other posts.” The company says this is about reducing spam. This may, or may not, be the case. But either way, it’s highly likely that very soon, all of us will have to pay to use X for the most basic of functions.
*Note: There is also a paid “Verified Organizations” subscription that costs about $50 USD per month.
During the first weekend of the war in the Middle East, I logged onto the X competitor app, Threads, and noticed an increase in the number of people (including journalists) introducing themselves on the app, and thanking their thousands of new followers (Here’s an example from journalist David Frum).
That many are moving over to Threads might be related to the increasing spread of disinformation on X. In this Wired article, “The Israel-Hamas War is Drowning X in Disinformation,” it suggests that researchers are seeing old videos, fake photos and video game footage on X at a level that has never been experienced before.
For its part, Threads is continuing to entice people to use the platform by launching new features, such as an “edit button” (something we waited for over on Twitter for 16 years). The Bluesky app hit 1 million users in September, and may also become a viable option (there is a wait list for this app).
And a recent report suggesting that NPR’s decision to leave X had virtually no impact on its referral traffic may also help others feel like they can leave without consequence. CBC is reporting the same thing.
3/4 Survey says…
Given all of these shifts, I thought I would ask my followers on Instagram and LinkedIn their thoughts on X/Twitter.
On Instagram, the majority of respondents said they are leaving.
On LinkedIn, the responses were evenly split between people who said they are "staying but not posting much, and people who have already left.
Either way, no one said they were staying for good. And that suggests that the real exodus has begun.
4/4 Your options
If you decide to leave X, here is a special warning:
When you deactivate your X account, you have 30 days to change your mind. But if after 30 days, you decide not to post again, the account is deleted.
And when an account is deleted, the handle is released to all other X users to grab.
If you’re a brand, business or organization, you do not want your handle in the hands of someone who can do real damage to your reputation.
Here are some options:
Staying on X, but only posting certain types of information (such as operational updates and events). That way your account stays active, but you can invest your efforts in growing your online community on other platforms.
Staying on X, but not continuing to post at all, except for one final post that let’s people know where else they can find you (this is what NPR did).
You can also do a combo of continuing some posts, but also letting users know about your other social media accounts.
Any strategy you take now may completely change once X starts charging to use the platform. But if pricing starts at $1 USD per month, I think that’s a small price to pay to protect a brand.
🍬 SOCIAL SNACK 🍬
Instagram tests polls in the Comments section
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri recently announced that the platform is testing the ability to add a poll in the comments of a feed post or Reel. “We’re always looking for new ways to interact with friends and creators,” Mosseri said in a recent post on his Instagram Broadcast Channel. (By the way, Broadcast Channels are also coming to Facebook and Messenger).
Meta moves more controls to your Account Center [Meta Blog]
Snapchat says it has a very unique audience [Snapchat Blog]
TikTok introduces “Out of Phone” solution that goes beyond mobile [TikTok Blog]
YouTube is investing in a multi-format news watching experience [YouTube Blog]
📖 The definition of funny
Can we have a big 👏 for the social media manager of the Merriam-Webster Instagram account?! It is so hard to be entertaining and educational at the same time. And so many of these posts hit that high watermark. Congrats!
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