The billionaire CEO of Tesla will use Twitter to create a new multifunction platform.
A new actor enters the tech scene.
And it’s not just any actor.
The richest man in the world put back on the table, on October 4, his $44 billion offer to acquire Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Report, a social network which he considers to be the Town Square of our time. Basically, a place where trendsetters and opinion makers meet.
Musk’s decision comes after months of battle with the management of the platform, which he had accused of lying about the number of spam bots, or fake accounts, present on the network.
Twitter had filed a complaint and asked the Delaware Chancery Court to force the billionaire to respect his initial commitment.
Many experts saw, in the withdrawal of Musk, a maneuver to renegotiate the initial price of $44 billion because the market conditions had changed and were unfavorable to Twitter.
But in a theatrical stunt of which he has the secret, Musk finally gave in.
X, ‘the Everything App’
Barring a new twist, the billionaire should take control of Twitter, which he promised to take private, in a few weeks.
For his first reaction to the latest developments, Musk announced that he was going to create a new platform which he called “X.” This will be a platform for everything, the tycoon said in tweets on October 4.
“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” the billionaire posted.
When a user pointed out to him that he might have been better off creating a new platform from scratch, Musk replied that Twitter would save him 3 to 5 years.
“I think it would have been easier to just start X from scratch tho,” the user said.
“Twitter probably accelerates X by 3 to 5 years, but I could be wrong,” Musk responded.
This answer is the same as the one he gave to Tesla shareholders during the general meeting in August, when talking about Twitter. At that meeting, the Chief Executive Officer said that he had ideas about how to “radically” improve Twitter.
He had hinted that his vision for Twitter was comparable to what he envisioned for X, a financial services company he co-founded in 1999 in Palo Alto, California. X merged in 2000 with software company Confinity.com. The merged company became PayPal.
“I do sort of have a grander vision for what I thought X.com or X corporation could have been back in the day,” he told shareholders. “It’s a pretty grand vision, and obviously that could be started from scratch, but I think Twitter would help to accelerate that by 3 to 5 years.”
He said that he believes that he has a good sense of where to point the engineering team at Twitter to make it radically better, and that X would be something that is “very useful for the world.”
X Could Look Like WeChat and TikTok
Until Musk gives details on X, it is possible that this multifunction platform resembles the Chinese social networks Wechat and TikTok.
In fact, during an internal all-hands with Twitter employees on June 16, Musk explained that he wanted Twitter to look more like WeChat and TikTok if it wants to achieve his goal of hitting 1 billion users.
Musk did not hide his admiration for the famous TikTok algorithm, which, according to him, allows the social network not to be boring.
“We could hone Twitter in the same way to be interesting,” Musk told Twitter employees. It also seems to be an important social mission to Twitter: “I think Twitter can be much better about informing people of serious issues.”
Musk was asked what success would mean for Twitter in 5 to 10 years, and answered that the platform should be “contributing to a stronger longer-lasting civilization where we are better able to understand the nature of reality.”
At the same time, the mogul also said Twitter should make sure “people are very entertained and informed.”
His model is WeChat, the Chinese app that mixes social media with payments, games, messaging, and ordering food.
“There’s no WeChat equivalent outside of China,” Musk said. “You basically live on WeChat in China. If we can recreate that with Twitter, we’ll be a great success.”
Basically, X would be a rival to Facebook (META) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report, TikTok, Instagram, Uber (UBER) – Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report, Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com Inc. Report, Apple (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report and Alphabet (GOOGL) – Get Alphabet Inc. Report via Youtube
Musk is often criticized for his ambition and his excessive promises.
But it is these same promises that have contributed to his legend.