Could X be on the verge of collapse?


Elon Musk, the owner of the embattled social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), has acknowledged the potential for the entire platform’s failure after a glitch caused the deletion of pictures posted before December 2014.

Musk stated that there is currently a lack of exceptional “social networks” and recognised the possibility of failure, while also expressing a commitment to strive for at least one successful platform.

The recent technical issue has resulted in the removal of images and links from posts made prior to December 2014 on the X platform. Users noticed the problem, with several commentators suggesting that it might be a cost-saving measure by Musk. Iconic posts like Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Oscars selfie from 2014 were affected, though later restored. Notably, former US President Barack Obama’s viral tweet from 2012 remained intact.

Speculations arose regarding the cause of the glitch. Some users suggested it might be due to efforts to save storage costs, while others attributed it to changes made in 2016 when the platform introduced “enhanced URL enrichment” to offer previews for linked websites and attachments beyond the character limit.

This malfunction followed reports of slowed access from X to other social media platforms, including Facebook, Threads, and Instagram, as well as delays in links to news sites like the New York Times and Reuters. Earlier in the year, users faced issues such as being unable to post, send messages, or log in.

Since Musk’s takeover, Twitter (X) has undergone significant workforce reductions, resulting in thousands of job cuts. Despite Musk’s aggressive cost-cutting measures, the platform has encountered challenges with revenue. Recent financial reports revealed a 50% drop in advertising revenue and a substantial debt load. The company faces annual interest payments of $1.5 billion due to debt incurred from a $44 billion deal in October, which took the company private.

Why does this matter?

Elon Musk’s acknowledgment of the potential failure of the X platform, following another significant technical issue, is of concern to all its users. Despite Musk’s efforts to reduce costs and enhance the platform’s efficiency, challenges with ad revenue losses and rising debt persist, raising concerns about the platform’s long-term commercial viability in the competitive social media landscape. Musk’s almost daily changes to the site – most recently his decision to strip out news headlines from links are increasingly having negative effects on the useability of the site and its brand, given his reduced staffing and his impulsive behavior we can only expect more issues to follow.