When are they going to take that Twitter account access from president elect Donald Trump? That is the question many people, myself included, have asked over the past number of weeks. You don’t want to see it but you can’t help to watch and see what unfolds next. Incredibly, Donald Trump could indirectly help Twitter’s fortunes.
Silicon Valley may not have wanted Donald Trump to be in the most powerful seat in the world but for Twitter there could be a chance to breathe new life into the platform. Trump has more than 16 million followers and has used Twitter to attack critics, annoy the media and speak without a filter.
Trump appears to have no inner filter himself and so his ramblings and off the cuff thoughts tend to make their way on to Twitter and that makes it a perfect mix of exciting and terrifying. You look at his Twitter feed and think ‘oh dear me’ but you can’t wait to see what comes next.
For many other president elect candidates they would probably have handed Twitter over to someone to manage and vanished behind the official White House screen, but this is Donald Trump and Donald Trump appears to be holding tight to his Twitter account.
Whether that will remain the case once he takes office, we don’t know but if he keeps using the platform the way he has done so far then he could end up being a big draw for Twitter.
There is a growing number of people and publications calling on Twitter to ban Donald Trump and some users are trying to get a #BootDonald trend going. However, if Twitter is clever and cunning about this they will look to use it to their advantage instead. People are looking at Twitter to see what Donald does next regardless of whether they love it or hate it and in there lies the challenge for Twitter. How can they convert all these eyeballs into regular users of the platform?
On top of that, could you imagine the potential chaos and reputation damage that would ensue if a social media site banned the president elect from the service. His followers on Twitter would be up in arms running around creating chaos and try as hard as you might you won’t ban every single one of them. Really the smart move is for Twitter to think about how they can get some leverage and pull attention onto the platform, not just Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.
However, Twitter seems to be considering it as a possibility and while they won’t confirm directly they have simply said that “The Twitter rules apply to all accounts, including verified accounts.” when they were asked about the possibility of banning Donald Trump from Twitter.
Twitter has made a name for itself when it comes to celebrities and major news. It is seen as the platform where news breaks first and celebrities have been hanging out on the platform keeping followers up to date for a number of years now. With tweets being made available in Google Search it means that Twitter is becoming more accessible to people than before.
Obama may have broke presidential ground with social media, but his tweets are neutral, boring and bland. Uplifting messages, thanking people and wishing people well. Yawn.
Compare it to how Donald Trump uses Twitter and they are a world apart, they are polar opposites. Trump and his cabinet have the Twitter world on edge, what could be possibly say next? With a post-election effort in place for a recount of the vote in three states, Trump has been using Twitter to make his voice heard.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
First let us just get the obvious out of the way here, this is the president elect telling a flat out lie on Twitter about “millions” of illegal votes. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.2 million votes but there is no evidence from Trump or his team to back up his claim that millions of votes are illegal.
He also becomes the first candidates in history to question the legitimacy of the election that he has just won. Trump claims he would have won the popular vote if it was not for widespread voter fraud. A few hours later he named some states where he claimed voter fraud was taking place but again, no evidence to back any of this up.
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
Donald Trump and his team never cite sources and they never go into detail about where they get their information from, probably because it appears to originate with a website called InfoWars which is known for pushing fringe far-right conspiracy theories.
This is why there is a love-hate relationship when we look at Trump’s Twitter account, what he actually tweets is deeply concerning much of the time. He is questioning the integrity of the election he has just won and he is peddling and may continue to peddle unproven conspiracy theories pushed by the far-right when he is in the Oval Office next year.
You don’t want to watch but you can’t help but watch and that is something Twitter themselves need to work out on how they can capitalise on. Their stock has sunk, they can’t figure out how to grow the user base and Wall Street is impatient. They are unable to wow advertisers and unable to monetise regular users.
They have just cute another 8% of the workforce which brings the total number of cuts under Jack Dorsey in the space of a year to 16% but with people watching to see what Trump does next they need to figure out how to take all the eyeballs going to Trump’s tweets and turn them into regular daily users for their own platform.
I’m not a Trump supporter and I don’t like pretty much anything he stands for, but even I am following to see what he does next.