In the day and age in which we live, not knowing what Twitter is, is technically impossible. This is because Twitter is one of the world’s largest and most popular social networking platforms, with 237.8 million active users. It allows users to exchange brief messages known as tweets alongside being a news website. Tweeting is publicly sending quick messages to Twitter followers that anyone can view. Tweets are permanent, searchable, and public unless privacy settings are enabled. Twitter and tweeting could also be referred to as microblogging. Users use Twitter to follow politicians, people in business, and celebrities. Additionally, they use it to stay updated on news and events, as Twitter is known for its quick dissemination of information.
Musk finalized a $44 billion purchase of Twitter late Thursday, paving the way for a radical shift at the firm. Instead of being a publicly traded company, Twitter will now operate as a private social media network. This suggests that the Twitter previously known might fade for regular users. Musk has frequently discussed a “super app,” which he has tentatively given the name “X” The firm might start introducing new features, like payments, to go beyond just being a social media platform. Musk has already expressed many goals, like eradicating spam bots, transforming Twitter into an “everything app” like WeChat, and speeding up growth to 1 billion users. The site’s content monitoring may become less strict, making it more difficult for users to deal with harassment, hate speech, and other forms of abuse.
Though freedom of speech has been welcomed, many celebrities have clarified their apprehensions, with some leaving the platform. Lebron James voiced his concerns about the surge in the usage of racist language across the platform ever since Elon Musk stepped into the picture. Another change is that Twitter’s coveted “blue tick” will now set users back $8 a month, according to the platform’s new owner Elon Musk. After purchasing Twitter, Elon Musk promised to make eliminating spam accounts one of his top goals. He plans to tackle this issue by making Twitter a subscription-based platform to verify users. Stephen King, the famous horror novelist, has been a regular tweeter for almost nine years. However, he declared he would exit the platform if Musk followed through on rumors that he aims to make Twitter’s verification badges subscription based. He tweeted, “$20 a month to keep my blue check? F*** that, they should pay me.” Even though the final price has been set at $8, it is still uncertain what the general sentiment regarding this is, as Twitter has been a free-to-use platform ever since its launch.
Twitter might grow to be known for more than just expressing opinions. Despite attempts to incorporate more services like tipping and commerce, Twitter has yet to undergo a significant transformation in recent years. WeChat is a Chinese chat software that allows users to perform a variety of things, including making payments, playing games, and shopping. As stated before, Musk has said he wants to build a service that is similar to WeChat. Musk tweeted in October, “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to producing X, the everything app.”
Let us suppose that Twitter was to acquire this distinctive identity successfully. In that case, the app might be used not only for memes and hot takes but also for food deliveries and money transfers. This might imply that Twitter transforms into a new app or merges with another app similar to WeChat. However, Twitter would need to become much more dominant than it now is in order to accomplish this goal. WeChat’s success was partly due to the fact that at the time it became widely used in mainland China, there was less competition compared to the internet services available now. Twitter would have to start competing against PayPal, GrubHub, and other businesses in addition to social networks like WeChat, Meta’s Facebook, and TikTok. WeChat introduced its additional features and functionality over a decade, and it did not have the same competition Elon Musk now has, so it would take years for Musk to develop an “everything app.” Keeping that in mind, it seems complicated for an everything app to be developed immediately, but it might be inevitable knowing what Elon Musk has achieved in the past.
- Twitter: number of monetizable daily active users worldwide 2017-2022. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/970920/monetizable-daily-active-twitter-users-worldwide/
- Twitter. WhatIs.com. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/Twitter
- Elon Musk Takes Over Twitter, Fires Executives. CNET. https://www.cnet.com/news/social-media/elon-musk-takes-over-twitter-fires-executives/
- Super app or “Wild West”? The future of Twitter under Elon Musk. Sky News. https://news.sky.com/story/super-app-or-wild-west-the-future-of-twitter-under-elon-musk-12726546
- Twitter’s blue tick will cost $8 a month, says Elon Musk, giving ‘power to the people’. Sky News. https://news.sky.com/story/twitters-blue-tick-will-cost-8-a-month-says-elon-musk-giving-power-to-the-people-12735836