Spending more on Twitter Inc. for $44 billion was the easy part.
Now, Telsa Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk has to prove that he believes Twitter is worth 10 times that amount and turn a social media platform he’s ridiculed.
Earlier this month, the outspoken billionaire said: “Me and other investors are clearly paying more for Twitter right now. I think the long-term potential for Twitter is an order of magnitude greater than its current value.”
Musk has provided few concrete details about his plans, and what he has shared appears far-fetched or contradictory.
What’s next for Musk is the self-proclaimed “chief tweet,” according to current and former Twitter employees, analysts and investors who are considering funding the deal.
x super app
Musk’s biggest bet borrows from China’s biggest hits of 2010. “Buying Twitter is an accelerator to build X, The Everything App,” Musk tweeted earlier this month.
The idea of an everything app, also known as a super app, originated in Asia with companies like WeChat, which lets users not only send messages but also pay, shop online or drive a taxi. The all-in-one service appealed to users who had fewer options in an area where Google, Facebook and others were blocked.
Musk has told investors that he plans to build one that will sell premium subscriptions to reduce reliance on ads, allow content creators to earn money and enable payments, a source on the matter said. According to
There are no super-apps in the United States because the barrier is high and the app options abound, said Scott Galloway, co-host of tech podcast Pivot and professor of marketing at New York University.
Galloway said Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which control the App Store on iPhone and Android phones, see themselves as Super Apps and will be unlikely to develop other Super Apps. Consider Apple’s recent rejection of Spotify’s plan to sell audiobooks as an example of barriers to entry.
“This is not possible at this time in the development of the mobile Internet,” said former board member Jason Goldman on Twitter.
Cutting Content Moderation
Current and former employees who spoke with Reuters said Musk’s plan to lower the guard rail common across all social media platforms would lead to a flood of hateful, harmful and potentially illegal content on Twitter. Already, it is struggling to identify and remove child porn.
Members of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, which includes content moderators, are expected to add to staff fears of Musk’s deepest job cuts.
“Imagine a world where all those people are gone,” said one employee. “It’s going to be a hellscape.”
prevent advertisers from escaping
In 2019, Musk tweeted “I hate advertising.”
On the eve of the expected closing of the deal, he appealed directly to advertisers in an open letter tweet: “Clearly Twitter cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said without consequences. ! … Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise.”
Advertisers are not buying it.
They point to Musk’s plan to reinstate former US President Donald Trump’s account as a major obstacle to spending money on Twitter. Twitter suspended Trump permanently for risking further incitement to violence following the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
Mark Dimasimo, founder of advertising agency Dimasimo Goldstein, said welcoming Trump may turn liberal and liberal-leaning users away, and as a result aim to market products and people to major home brands.
obey the laws
Musk has pledged to preserve freedom of expression of all forms, but also struck a more amicable tone with global leaders who aim to rein in Big Tech.
In May, Musk said in a Twitter video that he agreed with the European Union’s new digital media regulation, which would force Big Tech to deal with illegal content and risk fines of up to 6% of global revenue. The most serious approach to regulating online content.
Regulators across Asia are also tightening legal stances against social media platforms and ordering the removal of content they consider illegal, including speech by political dissidents.
Goldman said that in India, Twitter has waged a “sophisticated battle” with the government to protect freedom of expression online, and that the fight with Musk in charge would be at risk.
Tesla’s expanding business in China, where it generated $14 billion last year, could also put Twitter at risk, Goldman, a former Twitter board member, said.
“The idea that he’s going to liaise with the Chinese government and potentially change information on users is pretty scary,” Goldman said.
He said Twitter works with experts who review data requests from governments, but Musk has shown contempt for these experts.
“Whether or not Trump’s going to come back, I think, is a parlor game,” Goldman said. “But what’s really going to happen is a dissident’s IP address will be dropped on the floor.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)