When Billionaires Choose Twitter

Twitter logo.

What unraveled from Twitter on Thursday evening illustrates perfectly why tweets make the greatest stories.

In a simple but spontaneous 20-word Tweet, billionaire Jeff Bezos sent a shock that reverberated from the grimy (I mean, have you read yet about American Media Inc.’s Chief Content Officer Dylan Howard?), grubby tabloid offices of National Enquirer in Los Angeles, all the way to the prestige office of the United States of America: The White House.

Bezos’ tweet linked to a post he wrote on Medium, an online publishing platform created by Twitter Co-Founder and former CEO Evan Williams, which essentially acts as an extension of Twitter as a social platform and blog host. From starving artists and amateur writers, to beginner bloggers, professional journalists and sacred storytellers, to celebrities and the world’s richest human beings – anyone can write on it (for as little as $5/month or $50/year).

Dozens of articles have been written since Bezos’ post, dissecting what he wrote and trying to decipher exactly what IS going on between National Enquirer’s leak of Bezos’ affair in January and his now latest exposé of the publication’s blackmailing emails. I just want to point out what many are missing: It was publicized through a simple but spontaneous 20-word Tweet. In the Friday that followed, media devoted an ongoing 24-hour news cycle to it, lawsuits were filed, famous lead investigating security experts were hired, and, on Wall Street, Amazon shares dropped 1.62 percent.

Bezos’ extraordinary blog post on Medium has every inch of a good story: big names, conflict, controversy, Trump. The fact that he Tweeted about it when he could have just posted it ‘quietly’ on Medium and let a reader stumble upon it proves he wanted to make a statement and he wanted to do it in his own words.

While I question Bezos’ marriage morals, I think it was badass of him to openly publish the emails from National Enquirer threatening to blackmail him, and even more so that he made sure it was seen – a man worth $112 billion (source: Forbes Billionaires) choosing Twitter to tell his side of the story.