In the chaos that followed Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, one user, thinking the platform might not be around much longer, revealed a secret from her college days. Another made a last-minute plea to crowdfund her medical bills. Another admitted she bit into whole Kit Kat bars without breaking them apart first.
In recent weeks, Twitter has laid off nearly half its employees, executives have resigned, advertisers have pulled back, and Mr. Musk has struggled to calm concerns that misinformation and hate speech might spread on the platform. Though there are no official signs that Twitter is going anywhere, users who feared Twitter might be in its final days have posted last-minute announcements and appeals. Some seemed to be mocking the platform’s troubles, while others posted like mourners at a wake, fearing a real Armageddon for a place where they have built networks, spread and read information and, sometimes, fallen in love.
“I feel bad about doing this, but Twitter is probably going down soon and this is the last chance to get this circulated,” Amber Brown, 28, a streaming producer from Los Angeles, wrote on Twitter. “Help fix my liver!” She added a link to her GoFundMe petition, where she is asking for help to pay her medical bills.
“If Twitter implodes this is your last chance to tell me you’re in love with me so shoot your shot,” Phoebe Kimball wrote on Twitter, posting a series of pictures of herself.
“Now is your last chance to please give me a job before Twitter goes down please,” wrote Daniel Spenser, 35, a designer in Brooklyn who is looking for work.
Changes at Elon Musk’s Twitter
A swift overhaul. Elon Musk has moved quickly to revamp Twitter since he completed his $44 billion buyout of the social media company in October, warning of a bleak financial picture and a need for new products. Here’s a look at some of the changes so far:
Since Mr. Musk’s takeover, some Twitter users have moved to other social media platforms, including Mastodon, which describes itself as “a viable alternative to Twitter.”
Jack Orchard, 31, a researcher in England, said that “before everyone flees,” he wanted to let his Twitter followers know that his daughter, Cherry Jo, was born. Mr. Orchard said in a message that he liked Twitter as “a place where I can be pretty unfiltered and informal, but still talking to my peers,” but that if too many of his colleagues left, “I’ll probably leave too.”
Jennifer Crawford, 49, an architect in Sydney, Australia, wrote that before Twitter “implodes” entirely, she wanted to confess something she did when she was a university student. “I once took a cask of peach cooler to a uni party and left it under the table,” she wrote, referring to the nonalcoholic fruit cocktail. “I was 18. Give me a break.”
Kelly Connolly, an editor in Asheville, N.C., wrote that because “the Twitter vibe has shifted dramatically” she was going to use “my last chance to casually drop into a Tweet that I’ve picked up ballet.”
Andrew Tobolowsky, a professor in Williamsburg, Va., shared a picture of his son Judah for people to enjoy “Before Twitter ends.”
Users took to the platform to announce coming books and papers; say their goodbyes, and thank friends and followers; or ask for donations to charities and campaigns. Some tried a last-ditch effort at a joke that had previously fallen flat, or asked followers to confess their crushes. Some described the atmosphere like the last days of senior high schools. Others used similar metaphors.
“Twitter currently feels like one of the last Blockbuster stores where every time you went you knew it could be the last one,” wrote Santiago Mayer, a leader in the get-out-the-vote youth movement.
The author Sara Gibbs compared the feeling on Twitter to “the last days of Rome,” while Lauren Hough, another author, said the platform was fun again. “It’s like drinking the last of liquor and smoking indoors and trying on whatever’s left in coat check,” she wrote.
George Pierpoint contributed reporting.