Few stories in 2022 have captivated the public's attention like Elon Musk buying Twitter. Musk brings with him more drama than a yacht ride with Jennifer Coolidge. It all started in early April, when Musk's big chunk of Twitter stock was announced; later that month he said to heck with it—he’ll just buy the whole thing.
On April 14, Musk came in with a cheeky buyout offer to take Twitter private at $54.20 a share, or about $44 billion. Get it? “420” in the share offer? That’s the universal number for weed. Hilarity didn’t stop there for the billionaire jester.
On Oct. 26, Musk strolled into his newly bought Twitter HQ carrying a sink. “Let that sink in,” he tweeted with a video of the moment. Later he would tweet: “Comedy is now legal on Twitter,” which encapsulated why he bought Twitter—to give permission to accounts he found amusing to have more freedom, sticking it to any scolds who might object on the basis that some of the newly restored accounts had once been banned for hateful speech or harassment.
It wasn’t quite so funny for advertisers, and there has been an exodus of major brands flying off Twitter, worried that Musk's policies could make the service less predictable. There have been activist protests, claiming Musk’s loose moderation gave an opening to hate-mongers. Musk has disputed those attacks from groups he considers “woke” hall monitors. There also has been a massive reduction in workers at Twitter, casualties of Musk’s purge and his demands for “hardcore” work commitments. And it has all played out on Twitter, where Musk has more than 120 million followers ostensibly hanging on his every tweet.
Look back: Brand reactions to Elon Musk and Twitter
Here is a look at some of the most noteworthy moments, so far, and how Musk’s Twitter experiment turned into the biggest advertising story of the year.