In Flight

Twitter–Elon drama, explained

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Twitter's New CEO Has Landed

Twitter/ Photo Illustrator

In maybe the corniest move done by a CEO since Mark Zuckerberg put Sweet Baby Ray’s on his bookshelf, Elon Musk waltzed into Twitter HQ last week with a sink—letting that sink in, so to speak.

The gag was in reference to the six months of chaotic business dealings between Twitter and Musk coming to a close. Now it’s actually happened: Musk is the new CEO of Twitter.

What’s changed: On Thursday Musk closed the $44 billion deal to take Twitter private and made waves with his first move—firing a handful of top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal and head of legal, policy, and trust Vijaya Gadde.

In the days since, Musk has introduced a $20/month verification subscription. An unconfirmed rumor has also been circulating that he’s courting Logan Paul to resurrect Vine.

Context: Musk has long claimed to be a proponent of free speech, and he’s cited that as the core motivation behind pursuing the Twitter purchase. “The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important for the future of civilization to have a common digital town square,” Musk said in a statement. Though just weeks ago he tried to get out of the deal, and others say purchasing Twitter was a payments play.

Big picture: For creators, Twitter’s strength has always been its ability to connect users large and small and serve as a marketing engine for creators. On no other platform could you see Elon Musk and MrBeast engage in conversation multiple times in a day. And in the DMs, creators can privately connect with peers in a way that the YouTube comments section can't provide.

But Twitter’s not without its issues: It has its fair share of harassment and bot problems. And for a social platform with such a dominant cultural pull, it has a relatively small user base with average monthly users only at 436 million—a far cry from YouTube’s 2.5 billion.

While Twitter offers several monetization opportunities for creators—like its Amplify program, Super Follows, and Tips—the platform has yet to mature into a viable revenue stream for creators.

This isn’t surprising when you consider that Twitter has struggled to develop and grow its own revenue model relative to its scale; counterparts like YouTube and Meta have built advertising platforms roughly 30 times the size as Twitter.

Looking ahead: Musk did mention building the ad model would be a priority, saying in a tweet that he aims to make Twitter “the most respected advertising platform in the world.” With platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Snap all leaning heavily on video for content—and particularly for advertisers—it’s possible that Musk could follow suit and make Twitter a more video-focused platform.

Our Take

Right now, we have more questions than answers—what does a new Twitter look like? Who’s it for? In light of Twitter’s low user base and revenue share model still being in its infancy, getting to a meaningful income source for creators seems far-fetched in its current state.

But Musk, somewhat of a creator himself, does appear to be gravitating toward creators with his discussion of Vine, the Logan Paul rumor, and a focus on scaling advertising. If he were to actually resurrect Vine and lean into making Twitter more video-oriented, that could mark a meaningful shift in the role the Twitter plays for creators.

Ludwig Goes Full Truman Show

Ludwig / Twitter

The gaming creator is removing “streamer” from his list of identifiers—for a period of time.

Over the weekend Ludwig announced he’s pulling back on streaming to focus on his business Mogul Moves and upcoming events. One of them being…

Subathon 2.0, a livestream event happening next month from November 18th–20th. Over the three days he’ll be filming continuously in a glass box in front of a live audience at gaming facility DreamHack Atlanta, raising money for charity organizations Alveus Sanctuary and No Kid Hungry.

Backstory: The event is the sequel to the Subathon Ludwig ran last year, where viewer donations lengthened the timer that determined the duration of the livestream. He ended up live streaming for 31 days, from March 14th to April 13th.

Our Take

In the last two months, Ludwig has announced a creative studio and bidet company—showing his aspirations far exceed gaming. But he’s still sticking to his bread and butter, just in a different way—not streaming day in and day out, but making the times he does stream more eventful.

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How To Start a Podcast on Your Own Terms

AnneMarie / YouTube, Spotify

Annemarie Chase recently launched Unemployed Millennial, a podcast where she interviews guests like Shelby Church and Katherout on life advice and being a creator.

It’s her first project outside YouTube since she left the content group Ur Mom’s House in May.

Chase has been working on the podcast since June, having already filmed six episodes at launch, as well as a Patreon with exclusive videos.

Our Take

As we predicted in our report—we think the future of creator workflows is seasonal. Chase is putting that in action with her batch-record production schedule. In the aftermath of Ur Mom’s House dissolving, we’ll be listening in for how she’s exploring her next act.

đź‘€ Creator Moves

  • Cody Wanner is hiring a YouTube Virtual Marketing Assistant to manage posting schedules and other backend tasks.

  • Preston is looking for a full-time Video Editor based in Dallas, Texas. Must be able to produce a rough cut of a video within the first day of receiving.

  • Jordan Matter is hiring a YouTube Producer to start ASAP. Will help schedule and coordinate team meetings, shoots, and travel.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Natalie becomes the president of David Dobrik’s company.

  • TikTok creator The Pasta Queen releases a cookbook this week.

  • Hot Ones hosts an inaugural food fest with Tasty.

  • Viral Trends is the blueprint for going viral. Unlock hundreds of vetted content formats to grow like never before.*

  • Sidemen member TBJZL is training with a professional soccer club.

  • TikTok’s first global gaming event is being held online tomorrow.

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