Twitter icons.

Insights from Sarah Goldfarb, RW Jones Agency Managing Director of Social Media & Digital Content

My morning routine hasn’t changed much in the last decade: Fumble around for my phone to shut off my alarm, scan my email, then scroll Twitter to check in with the world. This morning, clicking that little blue bird icon on my phone just felt different.

Will Twitter ever be the same now that Elon Musk owns the platform? So many of us - higher ed comms professionals as well as journalists, politicians, celebrities - are feeling a huge pit of uncertainty around the future of what a huge group of us considers the first social media tool we utilized professionally.

I wish I had more answers as someone whose job it is to stay on top of the latest in the ever-evolving social media industry. I assume Musk will deliver on some of his promises to moderate content less, entering an era of even more misinformation floating around for us responsible communications professionals to weed through. Advertisers may bail on the platform in a mass exodus that has me wondering where they are going to plunk their money next. We know Meta is losing the grasp on engaged audiences as Gen Z continues to call the shots, TikTok is falling under some major security scrutiny and there’s no monetization to be had (yet) on BeReal. 

For those of us in higher ed, we will see some of our favorite professors we’ve depended on over the years as a steady source of valuable Twitter content go silent until things become more certain. We might see a dip in engagement, and we might tread more lightly every time we type up 280 characters for our followers. 

For social media managers wondering what to do now, it’s too early to abandon your Twitter accounts. You should start preparing to add more tools to your arsenal: Some of us will finally decide it’s time to truly embrace Instagram Reels, find more students to partner with for user-generated content on TikTok and revisit our YouTube strategy. Maybe we’ll always have Twitter, but if we don’t, we will be ready to embrace whatever platform takes the spotlight next. 


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