It appears to me that quite a lot of X’s present perceptual issues might be solved if Elon and Co. established a media and comms group to make clear its public place on key parts.
Over the previous week or so, each Elon and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have provided imprecise statements on sure parts, which has led to media hypothesis, a few of it incorrect, or criticism the place it might be unwarranted.
Like, for instance, Elon alluding to X’s plan to cost customers “a small monthly payment” to entry X, as a way to fight bots. That sparked widespread studies that X will quickly charge all users, which isn’t precisely what Musk mentioned, however to ensure that his bot-battling plan to be efficient, he would successfully want the overwhelming majority of X customers to pay.
So he didn’t say it, however he sort of did, whereas Musk has additionally hinted at this possibility previously.
An official comms group may have clarified this immediately, however with a press e-mail that offers you an automatic “We’ll get back to you soon” response, media retailers are left to take a position, which logically sparked a flood of “X is planning to cost all customers” headlines.
Yaccarino’s bizarre Code Conference interview this week, in the meantime, left folks with a heap of questions, which Yaccarino appeared unwilling, or uncertain reply.
What number of each day energetic customers does X have? What number of month-to-month customers? Is hate speech declining? All of those are numbers that you’d assume Yaccarino would have available, whereas the query of whether or not X is definitely planning to cost all customers additionally went unanswered, with Yaccarino seemingly uncertain what Musk had introduced on this.
Which suggests, once more, that it’s a minimum of been mentioned, however as an alternative of offering any readability or official stance, X was criticized as soon as once more, with Yaccarino herself now within the firing line for seemingly being, as famous within the interview, “CEO in identify solely.”
As an alternative, Yaccarino randomly posted some official stats and notes on X over the next days.
And our neighborhood is sort of engaged — greater than 500 million posts a day! @greg16676935420 — what number of you as much as as we speak?
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayaX) September 29, 2023
Which, in itself, additional confused issues, as a result of this stat immediately contradicts what Musk announced the previous week, when he mentioned X is seeing 200 million posts per day.
For readability, Musk said that:
“There are 500 million, um, 550 million month-to-month customers, now going to perhaps 600 million month-to-month customers, and any given day there’s on the order of 100 to 200 million posts to the system.”
Elon did be aware that the quantity he shared was minus re-posts. However does that imply that there are 300 million re-posts per day? Looks like quite a bit, however perhaps that’s appropriate.
We don’t know, in fact, as a result of we don’t have anybody to ask, so once more, it’s left to hypothesis, and sometimes criticism, or as a minimum, skepticism round X’s method.
Which gave the impression to be a part of what irked Yaccarino in her interview, that the media was targeted on the previous, that it was hyper-focused on metrics, whereas lacking the larger image that X is treading solely new floor, and is making superb progress on this radical new course.
Besides, it’s not.
X has ambitions to grow to be a complete new platform, which facilitates extra video engagement, funds in-stream, purchasing, banking, and extra. That’s Elon’s “everything app” plan, however to date, nearly the entire improvements that X has give you, which Yaccarino was so keen to highlight, have really been previous initiatives that the earlier Twitter group had developed, and that the remaining X crew has merely pushed out, clearing its previous growth shelf.
Group Notes has been in growth since 2021, Twitter has had live-streaming in-app since 2016, Twitter Blue was already being sold as a subscription package, they only added verification into the combo, then modified the identify.
When it comes to precise, start-to-finish, large-scale updates to the app, the X group hasn’t finished a lot in any respect. Which is smart, provided that they’re now working with a much, much smaller dev team, which can be arising in opposition to code variations and mismatches which can be making such updates more and more tough.
It’s very exhausting, for instance, for the X group to do away with all of the chicken references within the app, which it could like to do to compete its X re-brand. It’s very tough for X to roll out large-scale video streaming updates, as a result of it continually must replace a number of layers of code, on a number of servers.
It is smart that that is tough to navigate, and on this respect, the X group is unquestionably making progress. However it’s not innovating at some astronomical charge, a minimum of from a customers’ perspective. The UI is just about the identical, the in-app expertise is identical as at all times. Yaccarino can’t actually expect showers of reward for the group’s progress, that are largely inside at this stage.
However once more, this might all be clarified by an official comms group that would talk X’s progress. Quite than have Yaccarino placed on the spot, the comms group would have official stances in place, utilization stats, progress updates, all of this info can be identified, and ideally certified with information, earlier than Musk or Yaccarino is put earlier than the media.
Perhaps that’s not potential, given Musk’s off-the-cuff nature. Perhaps that’s simply not the way in which Musk operates, as per his long-held aversion to promoting.
It is also that that is a part of the plan, that each one of that is the media recreation in itself, with every speculated replace driving extra media protection.
If that’s the plan, it’s positively working, as X remains to be sparking a lot media consideration (together with this very put up). However it additionally appears damaging, the truth that the CEO and proprietor are seemingly at odds on sure parts, that its consumer numbers stay in query, that it gained’t share its personal official studies on hate speech.
If X has the info, why not share it, and silence the media debate? If X goes so nicely, why not again that up with the numbers on every ingredient?
Up to now, Musk has alluded to this being a component of his method, that the media frenzy, good or unhealthy, is definitely good for enterprise.
Perhaps that’s it, and it doesn’t want a comms division. However it does look like quite a lot of the confusion across the app may simply be addressed. The truth that it’s not means that the precise numbers are not so good as X retains saying.