Nibel quitting Twitter says a lot about the platform’s problems

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Twitter user known as Nibel, a leading resource for gaming news, announced his departure from the platform on Monday morning. His account, which has over 440,000 followers, is currently locked. As he left, he spoke of financial constraints and disillusionment with the platform and its new management as reasons for leaving.

“After some soul-searching, I’ve made the decision to focus my time and energy elsewhere and move on from Twitter,” Nibel wrote in a now-locked tweet. “This marks the end of my video game coverage and my active participation in this platform.”

Nibel said he would leave his account open to prevent people from squatting and abusing his handle.

Under the @Nibellion handle on Twitter, Nibel was among the fastest and most trusted sources of video game news. He was an expert in curating announcements from a variety of sources, be it media, gaming blogs, YouTube channels, Twitch streams, or official company sources. He launched his Twitter account in 2012; since then, his tweets have almost always gone viral on the platform.

The exhaustion of a power user – widely followed and trusted on the platform – points to wider issues plaguing Twitter.

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In late September, Nibel tried to monetize his Twitter work by introducing $1 and $3 tiers on the Patreon membership platform, where followers could pay him monthly. As of Monday morning, it had 987 contributors.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to create an interesting and lasting Patreon, which is evident in the number of Patrons which stagnates in the first weekend and the first (of many) engagements deleted during the first week,” he wrote in a pay-gated post on Patreon, according to Kotaku.

“I miscalculated the value of my activity on Twitter and realize that it is worth nothing on its own to the vast majority of people. It is not me who is popular, but it is this work that is It’s not valuable on its own, but a comfortable time saver, and I understand that now,” he continued.

To compound this lack of support, Nibel said he has no confidence in Twitter’s viability as a platform since the company’s recent acquisition by billionaire Elon Musk.

“I don’t trust Musk and his seemingly endless immaturity. I don’t think Twitter will crash instantly, but it might die slowly. Why waste any more time?” he wrote.

Nibel almost never did original reporting or coverage. Still, it provided a valuable service as a newsfeed. It provided a service of convenience, especially given the massive size and diversity of the gaming industry, which is reported to hit $200 billion in revenue this year.

His followers were saddened by his sudden departure from the platform, a testament to the trust he has built through an accurate and concise repackaging of gaming news. Geoff Keighley, media entrepreneur and founder of The Game Awards, the video game industry’s accolade prize-giving under the marqueegreeted the account with a heart emoji.

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No matter how valuable Nibel’s work, the responsibility to support it should not have fallen to his thousands of followers. Responsibility lies with Twitter, as it has benefited from its continued and highly publicized use of the platform.

Historically, Twitter has been among the worst social media platforms when it comes to supporting its most visible and valuable users. YouTube and TikTok are currently the industry leaders when it comes to providing top creators with money-making opportunities. Twitch shares ad revenue (although this split got worse for the creators of the end). These platforms have issues and controversies when it comes to payments. Either way, these companies all pay to retain power users who attract and serve an audience on their respective platforms. Not Twitter, which only offers a still-in-development subscription called “great follow” and a donation pot for its users to monetize their audience.

Sunday, The Verge reported that under Musk’s leadership, Twitter was considering charging up to $20 a month to keep users “verified” with a blue checkmark. Nibel was not a verified ticked account, and his account was often parodied to spread fake news and misinformation, which was a testament to the level of trust Nibel cultivated on Twitter. People saw his profile picture – a photo of the character Mob from the Mob Psycho 100 anime on a yellow background – and immediately understood that what they were seeing was news. Which says a lot about the bigger problem: Instead of trying to retain its most valuable users, Twitter seems intent on extracting money from them.

Organizing news on Twitter is hard work. While some journalists, like MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin, have become important sources of information on Twitter, their tweets are complementary to their work and main sources of income. Nibel, from all indications, was simply doing this in his spare time. And he came to realize that his own time was more valuable than the zero pay he was getting from the company that benefited from his work.

A recent Reuters report cited internal Twitter research that shows its power users are leaving the platform. The report says power users make up 10% of the platform’s user base, but create 90% of its content. Nibel, with over 80,000 tweets in recent years, was easily part of this group of power users. These users get little for the value they bring to Twitter: as someone with over 100,000 followers, I can attest that a following of this magnitude only paints a target on your back for harassment and bullying. other unpleasant methods of digital engagement.

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From Nibel’s statements on Patreon and Twitter, it’s clear that the hope was to turn a Twitter presence into a steady job. In this regard, he was not alone among popular Twitter accounts trying to capitalize on their popularity. The Sh*t My Dad Says Twitter account, launched in 2009, wrote a book based on the gimmick and even worked on a short-lived CBS sitcom based on the account, starring William Shatner. But Nibel’s monetization attempt only lasted a month; he said a number of followers unsubscribed after the first week.

Arguably, Nibel didn’t provide a sufficiently unique service, which he acknowledged in his farewell post on Patreon, noting that he didn’t cultivate a “personality” online as did established creators on YouTube, TikTok and Twitch. It’s also important to note that building a paying audience online often takes a long time (Source: I work for a newspaper).

Paying Twitter’s most visible and active users has been a topic of conversation for some time. The departure of a beloved high-profile account like Nibel raises questions about Twitter’s long-term viability if it can’t keep its most valuable accounts active – and if it’s ready to start charging some protections that keep those valuable accounts around.

Twitter is a place that extracts value from its users while giving next to nothing in return. We can’t even modify our own words without having to pay a monthly subscription. Facebook has offered this feature for free for years.

As long as Twitter continues to suck people’s precious time without compensation, more users like Nibel will leave the platform. Elon Musk’s dream of overseeing the digital town square may prove lonely.

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