Elon Musk is about to buy Twitter: He has three weeks to complete $44 billion acquisition of the social media company company transactions. It was the deal he wanted, then didn’t, and (at least for now) reluctantly accepted .
Musk may not be interested in improving Twitter’s advertising or subscription business. It is doubtful that he would even care so much about rolling back content moderation or eliminating spam , which he used to of two pet problems at six months.
Musk has never been particularly interested in what he has or is about to have, but in things further afield. Tesla isn’t just about making electric cars — it’s about accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy . His rocket company, SpaceX, is here not just to launch things into space – it’s to find a way to get people to Mars and “make humans multi-planetary” .
“Buying Twitter is an accelerator to create X, the app for everything,” Musk tweeted on Oct. 4.
What does that even mean?
Oh yes, X, everything app. certainly.
As my colleague Adario Strange recently pointed out , Musk will X The nickname has been used since at least 1999, when he started an online bank using the X.com domain name, which was later renamed PayPal. Then there’s SpaceX, and of course the Tesla Model X, one of Musk’s children is named X Æ A-12.
Now, X is Musk’s shorthand for a super app similar to WeChat, an app owned by Tencent, ubiquitous in China for personal chat, business communication, shopping, social media, payments, and more. “You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so useful, so helpful in your day-to-day life,” Musk said in announcing that he no longer wants to own Twitter.
“There is no WeChat movement outside of China,” Musk said at the time. “And I think there’s a real opportunity to create it.”
Anyway, Musk dreaming of self-driving electric cars, commercial space travel, neural implants, lightning – Fast train travel and ridiculous large tunnels go well with the app economy. He would be miserable there.
China’s app economy is different
This is not to say mobile apps Programs are a bad business. Application analytics firm Sensor Tower estimates that application spending will exceed $270 billion by 2025. Apple and Google each charge up to 30% of app subscription fees, though that cut has been the result of antitrust scrutiny and multiple lawsuits from developers Focus.
Then there’s the regulatory battle Musk may face as he tries to build a super app.
“The more flexible regulatory environment in China at that time allowed Internet companies such as Tencent and Alibaba to have More space to extend to a wider range of business areas. WeChat benefits from it and grows into a super application,” said Wang Xiaofeng, principal analyst at Forrester. “Given China’s stricter antitrust regulations, it’s much harder now, and it’s definitely harder for Twitter or future X to do it in the US.”
WeChat is also for a Trust in social media is created by societies deeper than most of the West. According to Forrester’s 2022 survey data, 58% of Chinese consumers trust brands’ content on social media, compared to just 20% in the US.
Does the WeChat mode make sense for Musk?
Meanwhile, Jasmine Enberg, Influencer Marketing and Social Business Analyst at Insider Intelligence It wasn’t clear whether U.S. mobile users even wanted the super app, he said. “In the US, we’re used to using different apps for different activities, and old habits are hard to break.” We open Venmo to pay our friends, Spotify to listen to music, TikTok to watch short videos, Open Slack to communicate with colleagues – we’re mostly fine with that.
WeChat has applets, or apps within apps. It’s one way Twitter could be owned by Musk, but it’s not too appealing right now. Twitter has less than 250 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU), well below the 2.9 billion on the Meta app or the 1 billion on ByteDance TikTok above.
“It’s going to be an uphill battle for Musk, Twitter isn’t going to become an X platform overnight,” Enberg said. “Americans will need a strong incentive to move from their current behavior to using catch-all apps for all digital activities. Even if they want to do it, there’s no guarantee they’ll want to do it on Twitter. Musk built it from the ground up Will all his apps be easier? Maybe.”
If so, Musk will spend $44 billion, plus a ton of bankers and Attorney Fees An app that only connects and irritates users, 280 characters at a time.