Even without any Musk-related drama, Twitter will face challenges. The company rarely turns a profit, and growth has been slow for years.
Prognosis: Acute short-term pain, with promises of a vague miracle cure ahead.
Reason for hope: Financially, Twitter is in a better position than many rivals. If the Musk deal goes through, shareholders will get bought out at a good price ($54.20 per share), and the company — which will no longer be publicly traded — will get some relief from the pressures of the markets.
TikTok has what every social media company wants — a big, engaged user base, a format that keeps people scrolling for hours and an iron grip on youth culture and the entertainment industry.
But in some ways, TikTok is the most vulnerable app of all. The Chinese company ByteDance owns it, and U.S. regulators have been circling for years, looking for proof that the Chinese government is steering or influencing TikTok. If they find it, they could declare TikTok a threat to national security and ban the app — game over.
Prognosis: Unlikely to die of natural causes but could easily be killed by a blunt instrument.
Reason for hope: TikTok is incredibly popular. Politicians fearful of public backlash could look for a more moderate solution than an outright ban.
Snapchat is still popular among young people, but Snap’s advertising business (like many) took a dive during this year’s economic downturn, and the company recently laid off roughly 20 percent of its workers. Like Meta, Snapchat is also a casualty of Apple’s privacy changes, which made it harder to target ads to iPhone users, and a victim of TikTok, which is eating into Snapchat’s following.
Prognosis: Snapchat should recover if it survives the winter.
Reason for hope: The number of Snap’s daily active users grew 19 percent last quarter — so the users are there, even if advertisers aren’t.