Musk takes over Twitter and says it’s not about making money, what’s next?

“The reason I bought Twitter is that having a common digital square is so important to the future of human civilization… Social media has split into echo chambers of the far right and the far left, generating more hatred and dividing our society… …I don’t do it because it’s easy, I don’t do it to make more money. I do it to try and help people, and I love them.”

Musk wants to build a multi-functional platform or super application X like WeChat, and the acquisition of Twitter will help accelerate the development of X. But analysts believe that building a true super app in the U.S. could be much harder than in China.

A photo of Musk was displayed on the phone screen with the Twitter logo in the background. Visual China Data Map

After what may have been one of the most dramatic, confusing, and winding acquisitions in business history, “veteran” social media Twitter is now officially owned by billionaire Elon Musk.

On October 27, local time, Reuters quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Musk has completed a $44 billion acquisition transaction and has now taken over Twitter. According to Bloomberg, Musk plans to serve as CEO of Twitter.

Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was sacked in situ, along with CFO Ned Segal, who joined Twitter in 2017, Vijaya Gadde, head of legal, policy and trust, and Twitter’s general counsel since 2012. Sean Edgett.

The deal allowed Musk to avoid a legal battle with Twitter and meet a deadline set by a U.S. court judge in Delaware. The question now is: the real drama may have just begun, what’s next?

“For the future of human civilization”

On April 25 this year, Musk and Twitter finalized a $44 billion acquisition agreement. Soon after, Musk publicly backtracked, accusing Twitter of concealing the number of fake accounts, and decided to stop the acquisition.

On July 8, Musk officially announced the termination of the acquisition, saying Twitter had “seriously violated many of the terms of the agreement.” On July 12, Twitter formally sued Musk over the acquisition. In the weeks since, lawyers for both sides have issued numerous subpoenas to the other, and the case was scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 27.

However, less than two weeks before the acquisition trial, Musk re-proposed to buy Twitter at the original price in early October. On October 6, the Delaware Court of Chancery judge announced that the trial of the case was suspended, requiring Musk to complete the acquisition transaction before 17:00 on October 28, otherwise the trial will be reopened in November.

On October 26, Musk himself appeared at the Twitter headquarters, holding a sink in his hand and smiling all over his face. He tweeted, “Coming to Twitter headquarters, you taste, you fine! (Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!)”

On October 26, Musk himself appeared at Twitter headquarters, holding a sink in his hand.

Now that the acquisition is finalized, the details begin: Twitter as everyone is familiar is about to undergo major changes? Are all clues buried in Musk’s previous statements?

Musk hasn’t publicly stated his plans for the social media giant, but on October 27, he tweeted that many of the speculations about the site’s future were wrong.

“The reason I bought Twitter is that it is so important to the future of human civilization to have a common digital square where beliefs can be debated in a healthy way without resorting to violence,” he wrote. There is a great danger at the moment that social media is splitting into echo chambers of the far right and the far left, creating more hatred, dividing our society…I’m not doing this because it’s easy, I’m not doing it to make more money A lot of money. I do it in an effort to help people, and I love them.”

The media had previously reported that Musk threatened to lay off significant staff. The Washington Post reported that he plans to cut staff by nearly 75%, from 7,500 to 2,000. This could severely impact the company’s ability to monitor harmful content, misinformation, attempts by foreign spies to manipulate public opinion and free elections, and child pornography. Musk told employees on the 26th that he does not expect to cut 75% of jobs, but some layoffs are still possible.

The scale and severity of the layoffs could have technical side effects. For example, if Twitter’s service goes down, will the remaining employees have the appropriate capacity to get the service back to normal?

Will Trump return?

Musk’s main business activity has been building electric cars, rockets and underground tunnels. Now he faces a new and very different business challenge: how to effectively operate a social media platform used by nearly 400 million people, and deal with the speech problem that comes with it, including highly influential world leaders, Journalists and other public figures.

During the time when he was preparing to join Twitter’s board but not buy the company, Musk said in a text message: “It would be nice if the permanent ban could be lifted, except for spam accounts and accounts that explicitly advocate violence.” Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter on the 28th. According to sources, Musk does intend to lift the permanent ban.

Former US President Donald Trump may not be the only banned user invited back to Twitter. If Musk lifts the permanent ban, it could open the door to the return of conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, who was banned in 2018 and who spread rumors that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a move to tighten gun control. a scam. And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was blocked earlier this year for making false claims about a Covid-19 vaccine. Other banned users included Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell, all of whom refused to acknowledge the results of the 2020 US election.

It’s unclear exactly how Musk intends to deliver on his promises of free speech. There have been quite a few “free speech”-themed social platforms in the last two years, such as Parler, Truth Social, and Gettr, but the results of their operations suggest that if you let anyone say whatever they want on a social media app , the app has the potential to become a toxic space full of hate. So, even the more permissive platforms have some basic content moderation policies.

Musk knows this, so his statement contradicts himself. On the 27th, he sent a public memo to advertisers after changing his Twitter profile to “Twitter boss,” in what appeared to be an attempt to assuage concerns that he was letting go of content moderation. He wrote: “Twitter clearly cannot be a laissez-faire hell where anything can be said with no consequences!”

Musk has changed his Twitter profile to “Twitter boss.”

Plus, when Musk announced he was buying Twitter, his first thought was to fix the spam problem. By June, he had voiced his exit from the deal, saying the problem was much bigger than what Twitter had revealed. Whether he will be able to do anything about the issue is questionable given the potential for deep layoffs, but it remains one of his stated priorities.

In addition, Musk proposed adding an edit button before he offered to buy Twitter, which may be his first move, as the company has rolled out an edit tweet feature, but only for Twitter Blue subscribers who pay $4.99 a month.

Can super applications be realized?

This month, Musk wrote on Twitter after deciding to make the acquisition that the acquisition of Twitter would help accelerate the development of his envisioned all-in-one app, X, and could shorten the process by three to five years. “Buying Twitter was the catalyst to create X,” he said.

Musk hinted that he wants to create a multi-functional platform or super application like WeChat, which not only has comprehensive payment capabilities, but also advanced communication functions, a dividend mechanism for content creators, and an easy-to-enter interface. X may also support multiple digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ripple, and Dogecoin.

“In China, you basically live on WeChat because it’s so useful in your day-to-day life. I think if we can do that, or even get close to that, it’s going to be a huge success.” Musk said on 6 said in an all-staff Q&A with Twitter employees in May.

It’s one of Musk’s most ambitious plans to date, and the closest he’s come to a true business strategy. Currently, 90% of Twitter’s revenue is obtained through advertising. Musk said he wanted Twitter to be less reliant on ads and make more money through subscriptions and potentially make money from super-in-app deals.

Musk has owned the X.com domain name since 2017. But if he succeeds in technically developing an American-style WeChat, will users in the United States or around the world join in?

Analysts believe that building a true super app in the U.S. could be much harder than in China. Evan Spiegel of social software company Snap and ride-hailing company Uber have also been pursuing the idea of ​​super apps.

Twitter’s internal research has found that the company has failed to retain its most active users, who generate 90 percent of tweets. This is happening against a backdrop of diminishing user interest in news, sports and entertainment, with cryptocurrencies and unsafe work environments being the areas of greatest interest for English-speaking users of late. The continued exodus of core users could further dent Twitter’s ad revenue.

Twitter has long not been as profitable as social media rivals like Facebook and YouTube, and like other major tech companies, its stock value has fallen sharply over the past year. Musk needs to find a better business model for Twitter to support what he calls his vision for the future of human civilization.

References:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90802446/elon-musk-buys-twitter-what-to-expect

https://www.vox.com/recode/2022/10/27/23424938/elon-musk-own-twitter-deal-closes-what-will-change-superapp-layoffs-free-speech-parag-agrawal

https://www.crypto-news-flash.com/breaking-elon-musks-x-app-for-8-billion-people-will-have-a-crypto-wallet-with-bitcoin-and-ripple- payments/

It happened: Elon Musk officially owns Twitter