Balenciaga has deactivated its Twitter account, losing one million followers should it be permanently deleted. The Paris-based luxury house did not explain its exit from the troubled social media channel, but the platform’s woes under new owner Elon Musk are thought to be the reason.
In recent days large numbers of users have left the platform, including celebrity and model Gigi Hadid, and some companies, like General Motors, suspended advertising.
Mr Musk’s vision for Twitter, which includes a strategy to foster free speech in all its forms, as well as having to purchase verification, has irked many of the platform’s users.
As a social media platform, Twitter has been less popular for fashion brands than image and video driven channels, such as Instagram, Facebook and now TikTok. Balenciaga, however, has had success, with activations such as a 24-hour livestream and one Balenciaga story of its SS22 show watched over 10 million times.
Balenciaga often deletes its Instagram history
Notably, Balenciaga was one of the first brands to delete its social history on Instagram. Now the refreshment of the channel has been adopted by many brands, specifically when new creative directors are appointed or when celebrities are keen to delete their online rants, as in the case of Kanye West, now known as Ye.
Twitter, on its marketing page, says the platform is at the centre of the fashion conversation, with reactions and commentary in real time during show season, where “launching on Twitter brings a whole new wave of energy to fashion brands’ big moments.” Many brands, however, prefer to connect on other channels, and post considerably less on Twitter than they do on other platforms.
If Balenciaga will inspire a Twitter exodus amongst other luxury houses and fashion brands remains to be seen, however parent company Kering has so far remained active, including Tweeting on the day of Balenciaga's exit.
‘Heavy Tweeters’, those that Tweet three to four times per week, account for less than 10 percent of monthly overall users but generate 90 percent of all tweets and half of global revenue, according to Reuters.
Bot Sentinel, a company which tracks behaviour on Twitter, said the platform lost 1.3 million users after Mr Musk’s 44 billion dollar takeover.