Imagining a World without Twitter

This morning, I woke up to two tweets from @elonmusk that would be funny if they didn’t ring true. First: “How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one.” Then, there was a tweet (below) that was just a picture, which you could reasonably caption, “Twitter RIP.” An alternative caption: “I’ve come to bury Twitter, not to praise it.” Or, even more plagiaristically, “Elon tweets as Twitter burns.” No matter how you interpret Elon’s eccentric behavior, based on the mass exodus of employees (and today’s lockout), I think it’s time to start imagining a world without Twitter.


Twitter RIP

11:23 PM · Nov 17, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone

If Twitter did not exist, which platform would you use instead? The problem with this question is that most people don’t use Twitter. According to Statista, as of January 2022, Facebook was #1 with more than 2.9 billion monthly active users, YouTube (at #2) had more than 2.5 billion, Instagram (#4) had 1.4 billion, TikTok (#6) had 1 billion, and Twitter (#15) was near the bottom of the list with only 436 million.

There are 14 bigger, more interesting, and better populated social media platforms where you can enjoy the network effect and get your message out. Even if Twitter somehow survives Elon’s abuse, it’s easy to imagine a large majority of its users turning their attention to other platforms, especially since everyone with a large following on Twitter already has accounts on every other major social platform.

In other words: nothing needs to replace Twitter. It can (and very well may) “go gentle into that good night.”

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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