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The Increasingly Sad Tweets of Jeff Bezos

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In the summer of 2008, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos dug into his personal venture capital fund to find some money to invest in a fledgling social media company. The firm’s platform had been online for two years by then, but had staked its future on an ambitious goal to transform itself into “a global communication utility.” To that end, a new round of private funding was needed to take that next big step and Bezos was the kind of player who could help them level up. At that point, the company already had over 200,000 active users joining each week, but despite the company touting Bezos as “more than an investor and advisor,” he wasn’t actually one of them. He’d made an account but hadn’t used it. His profile would remain inactive for over seven years before he would finally give into temptation and finally send his first tweet.

Almost 15 years later, Twitter has become a very different place than it was when Bezos initially invested in (and ignored) it. For other billionaires in Bezos’ orbit, it has become a launchpad for presidential campaigns and a tool to manipulate stock prices. While Bezos joined Twitter long before Donald Trump and Elon Musk, he has only recently decided to become one of them: a Twitter user. Over the past few months, Bezos has attempted to ape Musk’s “unique” online presence, to—well ... let’s charitably say, “varying degrees of success.” He started a back-and-forth with Joe Biden over inflation, chatted with the creator of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, insinuated that Tesla was secretly beholden to China, and—for reasons known only to him—made a joke about his ass.

Bezos and Musk have long had a sort of cat-and-mouse presence in each other’s lives as their ambitions have intersected over the years; that the Amazon founder has taken after the Tesla mogul in a few odd ways is hardly a surprise. While Bezos founded his spaceflight company, Blue Origin, two years before Elon Musk started SpaceX, Musk already had a habit of live tweeting his rockets launching (and exploding) by 2015. In Bezos’s first tweet, he followed suit, sharing a video showing the company’s successful landing using a reusable rocket.

This is largely how Bezos would use the site for the next several years. He still didn’t follow anyone, didn’t reply to anyone, didn’t retweet anyone, and his rare Twitter commentary had a bland, overly-polished feel. To this day, his Twitter footprint is comparatively miniscule—around 350 tweets—and his posts have never quite gotten the engagement that other online-obsessed oligarchs have cultivated. (Elon can tweet “Happy........

© New Republic

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