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  • Elon decided to break Twitter today. Now, this is not the first time he’s danced with breaking features of Twitter. I would link to all the other times but instead I’ll just link to The Verge’s excellent story stream of the entire saga since the buyout. Apparently he decided to “rate-limit” tweet reads for logged-in users, and to paywall the rest of the public.

    The real story here is Twitter is trying to cut costs and run away from cloud providers. In all likelihood, these recent changes from Musk are mitigation efforts to prevent their cloud costs from exploding. I mean, what did Musk think was going to happen? Allowing two hour video content uploads has ginormous cost implications. Regardless, they have decided to walk away from huge data contracts and aren’t paying their cloud bills.

    Twitter hosts some services on its server and houses others on the cloud platforms of Amazon (AMZN.O) and Google, Platformer said.

    In March, Amazon warned Twitter that it would withhold advertising payments because of the company’s outstanding bills to Amazon Web Services for cloud computing services, according to the Information.

    Since Musk’s acquisition, Twitter has cut costs dramatically and laid off thousands of employees. Musk ordered the company to cut infrastructure costs, such as spending on cloud services, by $1 billion, a source had told Reuters in November.

    Totally normal operations for a properly functioning company. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, ByteDance, the parent company behind TikTok is in talks to sell the app to Microsoft. As a primer, Microsoft prefers to buy their innovations instead of inventing or building them. No shame there. It’s literally how Microsoft has done business for years. They bought MS-DOS (QDOS) in 1981 from a Seattle software firm. In 2016, they purchased LinkedIn for $26B. A pretty hefty price-tag.

    How much do you think Satya Nadella will pony up for TikTok? $10B? $30B? Who knows. What we do know, is that the entire deal could evaporate (or at the very least go on hold). You see, the two parties are waiting for guidance, and approval from America’s favorite dictator — President Trump. Yesterday he said he was going to sign an executive order to force the app to cease operations in the US. Everyone is waiting to make moves until he literally makes an executive decision.

    Regardless, it’s unclear just how profitable TikTok could be, but they’re investing heavily in a in-house business-first ads platform. Think… Facebook or Twitter. I think that’s pretty telling. I guess we’ll have to wait until the curtain is pulled back to know more.