Former US President Donald Trump criticized Twitter when it was banned from using it in a decision supposed to last for life.
After the riots at the US Capitol, Twitter said the permanent ban came “due to the risk of further incitement to violence”.
Trump sued Twitter, criticizing what he described as “censorship” by the platform.
But this “permanent” comment now appears in doubt.
Elon Musk, the new owner of the platform, said in a tweet on Twitter that he would form a “board” that would decide on banned accounts.
But if Trump had a chance to return to the podium, you might expect that it would make sense for him to come back without a second thought.
After all, like Elon Musk, the former US president loves Twitter. For Trump, this was his way of communicating directly with voters, bypassing traditional media.
Ironically, it was also a way to attract media attention. “He tweeted” was heard frequently in newsrooms around the world.
But times have changed. There are now several reasons why Trump should not return to Twitter.
First, because he now owns and operates his own social media platform, known as “Truth Social”.
Just like Twitter, the platform allows people to post the “facts”, and Trump owns it, so he has a direct financial stake in the company’s success.
By far, Truth Social‘s biggest asset is Donald Trump himself.
Donald Trump won’t get paid a cent for tweeting. But he could benefit greatly if Truth Social becomes a major platform.
At the moment his company is not.
According to app analytics firm Sensor Tower, the Truth Social app was downloaded around 92,000 times just last month.
To put that in context, the same company estimates that the Twitter app was downloaded more than 14 million times during the same period.
This represents a small growth rate for Trump’s social media platform.
But if Truth Social has a chance to grow, Trump must be there — and that is exclusive.
It is useful to explain why Trump, in his statement, did not say that he was considering returning to Twitter.
But money is not the only consideration for Trump and his advisers.
There is also the view that Trump outside of Twitter is better for his own polls.
This hypothesis holds that Twitter served Trump well when he was establishing himself.
But now, does Trump need Twitter?
Some Republicans believe that citizens may be getting tired of Trump – because of his excessive tweeting – and that wild statements and allegations that attract people’s attention can distract attention from important talking points for Republicans.
Even if Trump wanted to come back, it seems now possible that the door won’t open for him.
In a tweet posted on Friday, Musk said a “council” would decide whether the banned people could return to the platform.
This is very similar to Facebook’s oversight board, which made the decision to ban Trump from the platform for two years (they need to make a decision on whether he can come back next January).
They may decide to continue Trump’s ban.
Both Trump and Musk are good at using Twitter. But it is also difficult to predict which one.
All we know is that Donald Trump will happily tweet in no time.
But there are plenty of reasons to believe that he will not be returning to his favorite platform anytime soon.