Okay, let’s speak concerning the Elon vs. Zuck battle.
As you’ll undoubtedly recall, again in June, X proprietor Elon Musk tweeted that he’d be “up for a cage match” with Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg, in response to the information that Meta was planning to launch a brand new X rival app, forward of the discharge of Threads. To the shock of many, Zuckerberg, who’s been getting extra into MMA of late, responded that Musk simply wanted to “Send Me Location”, implying that he was certainly up for an precise battle.
What’s ensued is a ridiculous back-and-forth between the 2, as Elon has used the potential bout as a way to seize extra consideration, and certain get extra customers to X consequently.
Every week after this preliminary trade, Musk claimed that there was “some chance” that the bout could be held in the Colosseum in Rome, and implied that he’d spoken to Italian officers about internet hosting the battle on the historic venue. Italy’s Ministry of Tradition denied this.
Every week after that, Musk re-shared a picture of himself in coaching with MMA fighters.
Actually enjoyable! The apparent conclusion is that I want a *lot* extra coaching.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2023
Zuckerberg responded along with his personal coaching picture, additionally with UFC stars:
So each multi-billionaires have been really coaching, which appeared to counsel that the battle would possibly really occur. Then issues went quiet for a couple of weeks on the Elon v Musk entrance, as sense appeared to (briefly) prevail.
Issues kicked up once more final week, with Musk posting that he’s been “lifting weights throughout the day, preparing for the fight”. Elon then claimed that the battle can be live-streamed on X, with all proceeds going to charity, and additional implied that strong preparations have been now in place.
The battle can be managed by my and Zuck’s foundations (not UFC).
Livestream can be on this platform and Meta. All the pieces in digicam body can be historic Rome, so nothing fashionable in any respect.
I spoke to the PM of Italy and Minister of Tradition. They’ve agreed on an epic location.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 11, 2023
However Zuckerberg rapidly denied this, and has denied all of Musk’s varied implications.
Elon has since clarified that he’ll likely need shoulder surgery before the fight, which would require months of restoration, which fairly clearly implies that every one of Musk’s varied public statements on the potential battle have been a publicity stunt designed to drive extra curiosity in his budding social media empire. Whether or not Musk plans to truly go forward with the bout in any respect or not, he has recognized all alongside that he’s most likely bodily unable to participate, so actually, it’s one other a part of the Elon circus, that he makes use of to eat up media consideration, after which deflect that to his varied enterprise pursuits.
Which, irrespective of how you are feeling concerning the man, he’s clearly excellent at. All alongside, in his tenure at Twitter/X, Musk has been in a position to preserve getting consideration, which has seemingly helped to prop up the platform’s numbers, and preserve folks coming again to the app.
There’s a purpose why Tesla doesn’t pay for promoting, as a result of Elon himself is such a lightning rod for the media that he can get his companies mass media protection with out having to pay for it, which additionally aligns along with his cost-minimization administration method.
Primarily, as famous by Platformer’s Casey Newton, Elon makes use of enterprise media’s established processes towards them to achieve mass protection, by stretching the reality, straight-up mendacity, or simply arising with outlandish feedback that set off a frenzy on-line.
As per Newton:
“It’s in the nature of business journalism to assume that CEOs of public companies are not lying all the time. And it’s in Musk’s nature to make frequent, bold pronouncements about his companies, politics, the nature of consciousness, and so on, all of which are irresistible to editors.”
Newton means that editors ought to make use of a extra skeptical method, and query extra of Musk’s outlandish claims, as a way to cease him from utilizing the mainstream retailers, which he claims to despise, to maintain getting himself extra consideration.
Which is completely right. There’s seemingly no prospect that an Elon v Musk battle is definitely going to occur, but even folks inside his prolonged orbit at the moment are getting requested about it in their very own media interviews and protection. Simply this week, X CEO Linda Yaccarino and his ex-wife Grimes have been each requested for his or her ideas on the bout, giving extra column house to Musk’s newest bid for consideration, which is clearly working, provided that I too am now writing about it.
However I’ve resisted overlaying it for that reason. It’s not actual, it’s not an actual factor, and Elon is simply utilizing this as the newest button to push to set off the media hype cycle, and subsequent week it’ll be another loopy factor, then one other the week after that.
On this sense, Elon does appear to have taken inspiration from the Trump guide of media relations.
Varied research have proven that the one worthwhile indicator of electoral success in social media metrics is mention volume, i.e. in case your identify is getting mentioned essentially the most in social apps, you’re going to finish up profitable the election.
Sentiment, likes, followers, all of those have failed to supply any actual indication of election outcomes, however pure point out quantity has been a constant indicator of success, as easy a metric because it may be.
On this context, it pays to be an consideration seeker, it pays to be the one who says the issues that get the most individuals speaking, as a result of that expanded dialogue is usually all you could occupy the general public consciousness, which then influences how they vote.
Elon appears to be taking the identical method, as a way to preserve his social media platform afloat, by reflecting consideration again to his posts, which then sparks extra in-app engagement.
From promoting verification ticks, to letting beforehand banned customers again within the app, to backing up COVID conspiracy theories, to selling using LSD. At any time when engagement appears to be waning, Elon simply comes out with one other controversial remark or stance, and the media cycle kicks in to assist him out as soon as once more.
The query then is whether or not he can preserve saying and doing sufficient issues to maintain getting consideration, which to this point he’s confirmed that he undoubtedly can.
Will that be sufficient to maintain X related? Will that be the factor that retains hundreds of thousands of customers coming again to the app, even when a rival good points floor?
It’s arduous to belief X’s reported utilization numbers, given Elon’s aforementioned affinity for misinformation. However he claims that utilization is rising, which might largely, at this stage, be a mirrored image of his attention-grabbing capability.