Twitter or the difficult economic model of social networks
Bought by Elon Musk for 44 billion dollars, the platform, like others, bet on free access to its subscribers. But she struggles to make her audience profitable.
If it's free, you're the product. This motto, particularly suited to digital industries, is even more relevant in the social media sector. Facebook (1.9 billion daily active users), TikTok (more than a billion), Snapchat (332 million), Twitter (217 million)… All have bet on offering their services for free to their subscribers. With the challenge of then succeeding in making this audience profitable.
A difficulty that has not been able to overcome so far Twitter, whose sale to Elon Musk, boss of the car manufacturer Tesla, was formalized on Monday, April 25, in an operation at 44 billion dollars (41 billion euros ). Despite its political and media weight, and despite advertising revenues up 25% (to 4.5 billion dollars in fiscal year 2021), the platform, created in 2006, suffered losses of nearly $500 million. Proof that it has still not found its commercial maturity.
Quite the opposite of Facebook, which bet very early on to capture the attention of its users to become a heavyweight in digital advertising. With success: through its various applications (mainly Facebook, Instagram), the Menlo Park (California) company was able to generate $115 billion in advertising revenue in 2021. However, notwithstanding the takeover of Instagram in 2012, which was already aimed to rejuvenate its audience, Mark Zuckerberg's empire is seeing competition from new networks such as the Chinese TikTok, which has succeeded in attracting new digital generations.