‘We’re Very Concerned’: Video Game Social Media Professionals React To Elon Musk Buying Twitter

Earlier this week, Elon Musk followed through on his promise to acquire Twitter, with the social media company announcing the acceptance of Musk’s $44 Billion offer.

By most measures, Twitter is not the most popular social media site. Metrics often have Twitter trailing other social platforms like Facebook and Instagram by considerable margins. That said, Twitter has become an integral platform within the games industry as both individual game developers and companies use the platform heavily to promote their work, their games, or share any and all thoughts they deem fit to tweet.

“Twitter is generally a great networking tool for developers — trending hashtags, asking for advice, the ability to retweet work or portfolios, and just casually replying to tweets has helped many folks connect with each other,” says Victoria Tran Community Director for Inner Sloth, the developers of Among Us.

Twitter is easily accessible to developers and instantly connects them with their players, content creators, and journalists, Tran says. And for corporations, there are advantages to Twitter that don’t exist on competing platforms.

“Twitter is also relatively low lift in terms of producing content — it focuses on words, while other platforms like Instagram and TikTok require more work with images or video,” Tran adds. “It’s a quicker way to connect, and unlike Facebook, you don’t necessarily have to friend request people in order to chat with them,” though this last part comes with its own problems of course.

But for the most part, game developers from indies to AAA find value in Twitter’s approach to social networks. Two AAA game developers currently employed at major studios who wished to remain anonymous said they got some of their first big game industry jobs through Twitter

But news of Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has caused a flurry of reactions across Twitter’s most prominent users, including those working in the video game industry. Musk, who is best known as the founder of the electric car company Tesla, is a prominent Twitter user himself who takes to his account to post musings about his many businesses, unsolicited advice on public transit, and sometimes memes. Can this person change Twitter, and if so, what will happen?

“Twitter is also relatively low lift in terms of producing content — it focuses on words, while other platforms like Instagram and TikTok require more work with images or video.”


Musk describes himself as a “free speech absolutist” and has tweeted out ideas of what he would like to see changed about Twitter in the past. Musk has repeatedly espoused the virtues of “free speech” and has called Twitter a “digital town square,” including in his statement following the acquisition.

One area Musk could expand on this idea is by loosening rules around what users are and aren’t allowed to Tweet. Short of illegal content, Musk has said recently at a TED conference that he would let “gray area” Tweets exist which could give license to harassment and trolls.

This is the most concerning possibility after the Musk takeover for professionals who run Twitter accounts for some of the largest video game companies.

One Social Media Professional at a North American AAA studio tells IGN, “We can already see a very cautious response from the Twitter userbase, especially among those who are victims or witnesses of harassment and abuse on the platform.”

The employee, who wished to remain anonymous given that their company has yet to put out an official statement, adds that from a professional view, any loosening of standards could lead to a loss of audience.

“We spent months and years cultivating our audiences on this platform, we’re very concerned that they might choose to leave it behind in fear of even more abuse at the excuse of ‘free speech.’ The same goes for brands, as it’s still unclear what some of these features would mean for content moderation and reporting, which is already an issue today.”

Musk’s rhetoric has spooked social media professionals who already contend with changing algorithms and shifting trends on a daily basis. While Twitter is not perfect, the Musk acquisition threatens to put people who work with social media daily into unknown waters.

“Twitter has been the go-to platform for video game developers and publishers for a long time now and its ease of use and accessible audiences made this platform important to rely on,” says Colin Cummings, who runs Social Media and Community for Evolve PR. “If anything disrupts this, or makes this worse, then my role as a community and social media manager just got more important.”

To be clear, Musk’s takeover of Twitter has yet to be finalized and it’s unclear exactly what changes are coming to the service. So far, Musk has only promised to enhance Twitter with new features, including making the algorithm open source, defeating spambots, and “authenticating all humans.”

“We spent months and years cultivating our audiences on this platform, we’re very concerned that they might choose to leave it behind in fear of even more abuse at the excuse of ‘free speech.’”


But for professionals who use Twitter for work, the concern is that there just aren’t viable alternatives to Twitter available right now. “There is no perfect replacement for Twitter and we’ll have to work extra hard to build our audiences, curate a community, and to establish our core communications like blog posts or newsletters,” says Cummings.

The concern is that “the gaming community that has been centralized on Twitter will fracture and spiral off into a dozen different places.”

“He bought Twitter for a lot of money and I feel like it is naive to say nothing is going to change. We just have to hope it’ll be for the better or just a lateral move.”

For others, social media is such a chaotic field, to begin with, that Musk’s takeover of Twitter is just the latest sea change impacting a vital job the uninformed believe is done by interns.

“Social media sites come and go,” says Tran. “Facebook was the place to be, now its organic reach is almost gone. TikTok is the hot new thing. Vine is dead. Just another billion-dollar corporation — or person, in this case — duking it out while everyone else gets tossed in the waves. Just another Monday.”

Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.



This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here

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