The tech innovator wants to add new services to the social media platform he’s trying to take private, making it similar to China’s WeChat and TikTok
By Sebastian Tong – Bloomberg
Elon Musk said buying Twitter would speed up the creation of something he called “X, the everything app,” suggesting he wants to add new services to the social media platform he’s trying to take private.
In his first public remarks since reviving the effort to buy Twitter for about $44bn, Musk called the acquisition “an accelerant” to building a kind of multifunction app.
Musk has mused aloud about making Twitter more useful, indicating he wants it to be more like WeChat, a messaging service that’s hugely popular in China, and TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing service that has taken off across the US. He has drawn parallels to so-called super apps that are common in parts of Asia, letting people use a single smartphone application for a broad range of services, from messaging and other communications to ordering food and summoning a car.
At Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting in August, Musk stressed that he uses Twitter a lot and that he has ideas on ways to make the platform “radically better.” He compared his ambitions for Twitter with the vision he had for X, a financial services company he cofounded in 1999.
“I do sort of have a grander vision for what I thought X.com or X corporation could have been back in the day,” Musk said. “It’s a pretty grand vision, and obviously that could be started from scratch, but I think Twitter would help accelerate that by three to five years.” He went on to say, “it’s something that will be very useful for the world.”
The potential acquisition took centre stage Tuesday after Musk told Twitter’s board that he’s willing to make good on an agreement pay $54.20 a share. Previously, Musk had been trying to get out of the deal, initially signed in April, alleging that Twitter misled him about the prevalence of automated accounts known as bots. A legal tussle aimed at forcing Musk to complete the transaction was headed towards a court in Delaware later this month.
Twitter has acknowledged receiving Musk’s correspondence and said it intends to complete the proposal at the agreed-on price of $54.20 a share. It has yet to elaborate on plans.