elon musk

Elon Musk’s Twitter Gamble: A Year of Decline and Doubt

Elon Musk’s grand plans for Twitter aren’t looking so grand these days. The social media platform, now rebranded as X, has lost over 70% of its value since Musk bought it for $44 billion in October 2022.

According to estimates by mutual fund firm Fidelity, a major X investor, the company is now worth just $12.5 billion. That’s a staggering 71.5% markdown.

Fidelity has repeatedly slashed its valuation of X stock following Musk’s tumultuous takeover. Their latest reduction in November 2023 marked an extra 11% drop.

Other shareholders may see it differently, but clearly Fidelity lacks confidence in Twitter 2.0 under Musk.

It’s easy to see why. Musk’s first year of leadership has been chaotic, to put it mildly. X’s user base shrank 15% over concerns about misinformation. Key advertisers like Apple and Disney fled after Musk boosted antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Musk himself stoked an ad revolt by telling brands to “go f*** themselves” when they pressed for content moderation. Predictably, ad revenue dried up.

With the company bleeding cash, Musk laid off over 50% of employees, including teams critical for keeping dangerous speech in check. The EU warned X now leads major platforms in disinformation spread.

In desperation, Musk brought on well-respected executive Linda Yaccarino as CEO to right the ship. But his refusal to step back from the spotlight leaves doubts about Twitter’s direction.

One year in, Musk’s $44 billion regime change has X on far shakier ground financially, ethically and culturally. Shareholders like Fidelity seem to think the platform is worth barely one-fourth what Musk paid today.

Maybe he can turn it around. But so far, Musk’s grand Twitter experiment looks like a gross miscalculation. Billionaires don’t always know best.