So it seems the Tweety Bird’s hit a wall.
For sheer numbers, users are looking to FaceBorg, and the Cool Kids™ are over on Snapchat (are they still calling it that this week?). Whatever made Twitter special — the instant currency, the authenticity conveyed by the spur-of-the-moment nature of individual tweets, the ephemeral flavour — just may not be enough any more.
No great insight there. There are plenty of people out there prescient enough to have foreseen this. I’m not one of them. Best I can say is that some time ago, I made what some might consider another Cool Kids™ list. In any event, both the platform and its users have had their ups and downs since then.
But if there’s a reason to fear the demise of Twitter as we know it — and let’s be honest, whatever its faults, it’s been enormously influential — then there’s also a reason to welcome its acquisition, especially if that acquisition leads to some sorely needed and badly overdue change.
As we’ve seen, again and again, the online world isn’t exactly a safe space for women and minorities, and Twitter, in particular, has been cited for its lame response to that. A year and a half ago, its CEO admitted that the company sucked (his words) at dealing with trolls and abuse. Hands up all those who think they’ve turned things around since then.
Well, then. I don’t know whether the platform’s going to be sold. I don’t know who the suitors are, I don’t know what the price tag’s going to be, and I don’t know how, whether, or to what extent it’s going to change things. But it’s hard to imagine potential investors wanting any part of that headache. So if this stops Twitter’s dubious distinction as one of the avenues of choice for trolls to harass, threaten, dox, and silence people, well, I can live with that.