If I could sum it up in one sentence, Twitter is not Facebook, which generates twenty-three times Twitter’s annual revenue and almost 2 billion daily users compared to Twitter’s 217 million. (Companies count users a little differently, but that gives you an idea.)
“Twitter’s cultural influence is as big as Facebook’s, even if it’s only a twentieth of its size,” said Mark Mahaney, who has followed Twitter for years as an investment analyst now with Evercore ISI. That makes people wonder, “What’s wrong with Twitter?” he commented.
Even so, most people and companies that have considered buying Twitter in detail have freaked out and fled. In 2016, Disney withdrew its bid to buy it in part because executives worried it would tarnish the company’s family image if it became the owner of a rambunctious information platform. Salesforce boss Marc Benioff changed his mind when Salesforce investors hated the idea of a business software company owning Twitter.
Government authorities would most likely not allow companies that appear to be sympathetic to Twitter, such as Google and Facebook, to buy it, due to monopoly concerns.
Twitter is too big, but at the same time it’s not big enough, but it’s also not good enough. It’s not Facebook, and that’s why a lot of people want to buy it, but at the same time they don’t want to buy it for that very reason. Twitter could give influence to any owner, but also too much unwanted attention.
Musk might be one of the few people in the world who is brave enough (or dumb enough) to want to buy twitter and actually do. Perhaps Musk is the person who can finally unleash the potential of Twitter. Or maybe he’ll just end up joining the long list of people who once thought they could.