Musk fired many executives after he took over Twitter! Will Trump return? The next step to learn WeChat?

After more than half a year of wrangling, Musk’s Twitter acquisition has finally come to an end.

On October 28, Musk offered $54.20 per share to buy the company’s stock from Twitter shareholders, and has now completed the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

After joining Twitter, Musk will change the company’s business model to increase revenue and reduce expenditure. He has said that he wants to ensure Twitter’s “freedom of speech”, which means that Twitter may relax its content moderation standards and reshape the ecology of public opinion. This also means that the way hundreds of millions of people communicate and get news will usher in changes. Under this scenario, former US President Trump will regain his banned Twitter account.

Trump, however, does not appear to be interested in returning to Twitter. On the 28th local time, Fox News quoted Trump as saying, “I like Musk very much”, but will continue to stay on the “real social” platform, and said that without him, “Twitter cannot succeed.” .

New owner settles in

With the help of multiple financial institutions and individual investors, on October 28, local time, Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. And just two days ago (26th), Musk posted a video on Twitter: walking into Twitter’s headquarters building in San Francisco, California with a smile on his face, carrying a sink, with the text: “let that sink in!” (Note: sink in is a homophonic stalk in the English context, which can be understood as “let them think for a while”), and changed the personal Twitter account identification information to “Chief Twit”, that is, “tweet Special Head”.

Musk visits Twitter building with sink in his arms

Speaking of the “bad relationship” between Musk and Twitter, it goes back 12 years : In June 2010, Musk posted his first tweet on Twitter, and now he acquired Twitter , and its followers have reached 110 million.

In fact, as early as December 2017, someone suggested that Musk buy Twitter, and Musk’s response at that time was: “How much?”

It wasn’t until this year that Musk really got into action. After negotiating a deal, Musk backtracking, and Twitter suing, Musk finally took Twitter private for $44 billion and gained control of the company before a court-limited time.

As of press time, the latest content of Musk’s Twitter page

After Musk officially took over Twitter, his first move was to fire five executives, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). This confirms Musk’s previously revealed desire for mass layoffs at Twitter. Some people jokingly called “capitalists turn their faces and don’t recognize people” because Musk also refuted rumors that he would lay off 75% of his workforce when he visited Twitter earlier.

It is reported that the three core executives who were laid off will receive more than $100 million in severance and previously granted equity awards.

According to the news released by the official website of the New York Stock Exchange, due to the acquisition-related matters, Twitter’s stock has been suspended from October 28. At the same time, the official website of the Nasdaq exchange shows that Twitter will be removed from the S&P 500 index, and Arch Capital Group will replace Twitter before the opening of the market on November 1.

next action

After taking over Twitter, Musk is likely to do several things . These are several core issues that have been repeatedly mentioned around public opinion in the past six months.

1. “De-censorship”

When Musk first expressed his willingness to buy Twitter, he described himself as an absolute “free speech person.” Musk has expressed disdain that Twitter uses algorithms to control a large amount of information disclosure for many years, and he suggested in an interview that open source algorithms can solve this problem. Musk’s think tank suggested he “de-censorship” Twitter and create an “algorithmic marketplace.”

2. Bring back the Trumps

Trump’s Twitter account was banned in January 2021 after the riots in the Capitol. The former U.S. president has been so powerful on social media that he once reached the level of “Twitter rule of the country”.

Musk said the ban would be “removed” from Trump’s account.

In a recent note to advertisers, Musk also said he bought Twitter because he believes “in the future of civilization, people should share a digital city square where people can do whatever they want in a healthy way. Forms of debate”, “In addition to complying with the law, our platform must also be hospitable”.

3. Open source and reduce expenditure

Open source and throttling is the main action after Musk took over Twitter, and it is also the action that attracts the most attention, because it is related to the survival of Twitter.

It is reported that Musk incurs about $13 billion in bank debt for the acquisition of Twitter, which will appear on Twitter’s balance sheet and will need to be repaid in the future. But Twitter is now in the stage of burning money, with slow performance growth and even a net loss in the second quarter of this year.

Musk wants to quadruple Twitter’s annual revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028. Therefore, he believes that Twitter must improve financially, and his current thinking is to cut costs and change the way it operates. In June, Musk told Twitter employees that “costs now outweigh earnings” and that the company “needs to be financially healthy” and reduce costs. Musk also said at one point that he planned to cut 75% of the workforce.

Like many social media, Twitter is highly dependent on advertising, which accounts for 90% of Twitter’s revenue. Musk suggested optimizing revenue generation channels, including increasing the popularity of Twitter’s premium subscription service by de-advertising; developing Twitter’s payments business; charging small fees to customers and government users; finding new ways to make money from tweets that contain important information.

4. Follow WeChat

According to Musk’s conception, Twitter should not only be content to be a social media, but should be built into an all-round application like WeChat.

In a June meeting with Twitter employees, Musk said Twitter should be more like WeChat — enabling instant messaging, social media and mobile payments. Musk said that in China, people can live on WeChat, and if Twitter can do that, it will be a huge success.

or a marketing tool

In the early days, Musk was portrayed by the media as a business man, a dreamer, and his fanatical followers all over the world , but in the past few years, his arrogance and paranoia have attracted a lot of criticism.

Some netizens pointed out that there have been frequent negative news about Tesla and SpaceX employees in recent years, such as workplace bullying, unfair treatment, and even the scandal that Musk persuaded a female executive to have children for her, which made Musk’s halo. Not as dazzling as before.

In addition, Musk frequently tweets about specific stocks or touts cryptocurrencies, which some in the market see as classic price manipulation.

Bridget Casey, 36, a financial expert who runs a financial literacy company, took issue with Musk’s tweets about Tesla and Dogecoin stocks, “His Twitter audience is so Big, he does have the ability to manipulate the stock price with one tweet.”

Previously, Casey also believed that Musk was a great innovator. “Over time, his behavior became very absurd, especially on Twitter,” she said.

Musk represents the best and worst parts of capitalism, said a 19-year-old former Indian fan of Musk.

“I very much want to believe that he is the one who will change the course of history and take civilization to new heights.” But over time, Musk hasn’t always delivered on promises — such as his promise in March 2020 that Tesla would make ventilators for hospitals in the throes of the pandemic. The fan believes that Musk is good at manipulating the media, he knows how the human mind works, but actions always lag behind words.

The acquisition of Twitter turned Musk’s business empire into a “hexagon warrior.” Musk already owns large stakes in companies developing cars, rockets, robots and satellite internet, as well as in experimental ventures such as brain implants. Now, he controls social media giants like Twitter, and he will reshape the way hundreds of millions of people communicate and get news, with hundreds of millions of followers as his main marketing channel.

In the Twitter acquisition, Musk was as eloquent as ever, saying he wanted to make Twitter better. But it’s hard not to wonder how Musk’s Twitter will be a tool for him to improve his own financial performance, and it remains to be seen how that goes.

Reporter: Zhou Zimo

Editor: Wang Zhexi

Responsible editor: Bi Dandan