Twitter co-founder: Future 'does not look good,' highlights Mastodon

He gave a revealing interview where he discussed whether Twitter would be around "forever."
Loukia Papadopoulos
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone

Heather Kennedy/Getty Images 

Twitter’s co-founder Biz Stone gave a revealing interview to The Guardian that was published Friday morning (Jan .27) where he expressed doubts over Elon Musk’s ability to run the social media platform. He even alluded Mastodon’s, an alternative platform, popularity and success.

Not a win-win situation

He began by explaining that running social media companies is “not really a win-win situation…it’s always tough,” because “50 percent of the people are gonna be happy, 50 percent of people are gonna be upset with you.”

Stone was asked if Musk was the right owner for Twitter and he replied: “It doesn’t seem like it right now, but I could be wrong.”

He explained that improvements he led during his four-year stay at Twitter, particularly in morale and overseeing content, have now been lost under Musk’s new controversial leadership.

“We made a lot of improvements in those areas. And that’s all gone now,” he noted.

However, Stone did say that the concept of Twitter would survive even if the social media platform itself did not. To highlight his point, he alluded to the success of alternative platforms such as Mastodon.

“I don’t know that Twitter as a company is going to succeed forever but the idea of Twitter I think will be around,” he said. 

“It would only matter that Twitter the idea continued. And that’s happened. That seems to be happening already. Mastodon seems to be winning the open-source, decentralized version of Twitter. People seem to be going there.”

“I don’t know the future. I don’t know what’s gonna happen and maybe things will be great in a year and [it] had to go through this trial by fire. But, right now it does not look good, I would say,” he explained.

More platforms, more problems

Last October, Elon Musk completed his move to acquire Twitter after a short legal brawl, but the joy of the move was short-lived. He proceeded to fire the top brass the same day, and then moved on to firing more than half of Twitter’s staff.

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His seemingly 'clumsy' moves made headlines around the world and many said Twitter would not survive his takeover. More recently, news has surfaced that Twitter has not been paying rent for its office spaces and employees have been forced out of buildings by landlords.

These are circumstances that were not present when Stone was running things. It seems the executive has quite some experience on how to handle a business successfully.

As such, Stone also had some advice for young people looking to develop their own social media platforms.

“I tell young people – if you’re doing something to try to get rich, it’s probably not going to work. You should do something that you’re just really enjoying working on and then you actually have a greater chance of becoming wealthy.”

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