Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Their Heated Online Feud

Aside from the competition between their companies, multi-billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have developed a strong personal beef against each other, as seen online.

In today’s society, where people regularly consume social media, Twitter remains to be one of the leading platforms—especially with 450 million monthly active users around the world. This platform is owned by multi-billionaire Elon Musk after having bought it last October 2022.

On May 2023, however, Musk appoints Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter, even though he is still involved in company decisions. Under the leadership of the new administration, however, users saw several changes in the app, including new implementations for verified accounts under the introduction of Twitter Blue and even for ad placements within the platform.

But that’s not all. Just recently, Musk also decided to place a temporary limit on the number of tweets that users can see each day—300 posts for new unverified accounts, 600 posts for unverified accounts, and 6,000 posts for verified accounts.

These changes drew flak, as people started to trend #RIPTwitter and #TwitterDown. And while Twitter was hit with backlash from its users, Mark Zuckerberg—the CEO of Meta which includes social media platforms Facebook and Instagram—shared that he’ll be launching a new app called Threads, which shares some similarities with Twitter.

Aside from being direct competitors in their respective social media platforms, Zuckerberg and Musk have already gone a long way back with their online back-and-forth banter against each other. What’s more, the launch of Threads has added fuel to the fire, as the two multibillionaires are once again going after each other’s necks, with talks of a possible (and literal) cage fight.

Here’s what we know so far.

Performance of Each App

On July 5, 2023, Meta released Threads as a direct competitor to Twitter. By July 10, the app has already amassed 100 million users—thus, becoming the fastest-growing app ever. And despite lacking some features that people would use on Twitter—which include direct messages, a following page, and hashtags—the app continues to be well-received, even with the uncertainty of when its fame will last. 

“Threads reached 100 million sign-ups over the weekend. That’s mostly organic demand and we haven’t even turned on many promotions yet. Can’t believe it’s only been 5 days!” said Zuckerberg. 

Subsequently, CEO Linda Yaccarino tweeted on July 11, “Don’t want to leave you hanging by a thread… but Twitter, you really outdid yourselves! Last week we had our largest usage day since February. There’s only ONE Twitter. You know it. I know it.”

“Cumulative user-seconds per day of phone screen time, as reported by iOS and Android, is hardest to game. I think we may hit an all-time record this week,” Musk chimed in.

Despite the reports claimed by Musk and Yaccarino, companies that specialize in web analytics and web traffic like Cloudflare and Similarweb shared that Twitter is actually “tanking”. This means that, unlike the claims where they hit all-time high records, data charts actually depict that the site had been performing badly.

In fact, data showed that Twitter was down 5% for the first two full days Threads was generally available compared with the previous week

Musk vs. Zuckerberg 

Given that Threads was nicknamed the “Twitter Killer”, Musk has been taking the competition more personally—going as far as to insult and issue challenges by tweeting things like “Zuck is a c*ck” which he followed up with “I propose a literal d*ck measuring contest”. 

Meanwhile, one of Twitter’s lawyers threatened to sue Meta for using their “trade secrets and other intellectual property.” The lawyer also claims that Threads hired former Twitter employees to help develop the app, thus turning it into a Twitter copycat. 

Currently, there are talks about how these two company owners can engage in a literal cage fight against one another. This came about when Musk tweeted that he was “up for a cage fight”, to which Zuckerberg responded with “Send me [the] location”. 

Given their notable differences in terms of height, Musk—who stands at 6’1”—said that he won’t lose weight for the fight. He has also made it clear on his Twitter account that he almost never works out. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg—who stands at 5’7”—is known for his immense physical training, especially as he had just won his first Jiu-jitsu tournament in May.

No one knows whether the cage fight will push through. But TMZ reports say that Zuckerberg has been spending several days with two UFC champions—Israel Adesanya, the middleweight champion, and Alexander Volkanovski, the featherweight champion—to train. In fact, it was seen that both fighters headed straight to Zuckerberg’s residence in Northern California after their UFC 290 fights. 

The three of them have been training in a gym located at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. This was seen on Adesanya’s Instagram account where he posted a picture of them three with the caption “No Fugazi with Mark [shark emoji], This is Serious Business!!” Zuckerberg then proceeded to thank them for their support and said that he considers it a great honor to train alongside them. 

Musk’s mother, Maye Musk, has repeatedly been seen active on her Twitter account as she attempts to cancel the said fight and not allow her son to do it. She has also replied to several tweets to show how much she dislikes the idea of a physical fight and how the two men should just be involved in a verbal fight instead. 

Still, several online betting sites have already dropped some betting lines and odds for the possible match between the two. 

It is important to take note that this isn’t the first time that Musk and Zuckerberg were engaged in a feud. In fact, the two has several back-and-forth interactions since 2016, a time when SpaceX failed to launch a Facebook satellite. 

What People Think About It

People are mostly interested to see how Threads will continue to improve and whether or not it can meet the expectations that Twitter has set. So far, opinions surrounding Threads’ longevity are divided—which is why it’s best to observe how Twitter and Threads can compete to be the top choice in their chosen social media niche. 

As the two billionaire’s possible cage fight, it has gotten many netizens talking, with a good number showing interest in it happening—as some have already picked sides on who they think will win. 

At the end of the day, having competitors in one’s business is a normal thing to have. But even so, it is important that business people learn how to treat each other professionally and respectfully. Though arguments and feuds can oftentimes be hard to avoid as things become competitive, entrepreneurs need to learn their boundaries—especially since their behavior can impact their respective brand’s performance.