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Musk’s Execution on Long-Awaited Twitter Deal

One of the world’s biggest social network companies, Twitter, has been sold and is now officially owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. His US$44 billion deal to take over the company was finally closed last Friday (10/28), ending months of legal dispute throughout the transaction. A wrangle started in July when Musk reneged on the initial sale agreement due to Twitter presenting inaccurate and misleading information on various user data, including the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform. Although the specific reason why Musk finally decided to execute Twitter’s acquisition has not been legitimately published, it is conceivable that the sudden rise of Twitter stock prices also contributed to the conclusion. Previous to Musk completing Twitter buyouts, the stock closed at around US$53 on October 27, 2022. Twitter’s new CEO, Elon Musk, had also notified the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the company intends to go private and delist from the stock market on November 8, 2022. The Twitter buyout is subsidized substantially by his co-investors, including Fidelity Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and Brookfield. Aside from that, Binance also decided to join investment into Musk's Twitter purchase by chipping in US$500 million; in addition, Binance is constructing a team to work on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies could further integrate into Twitter. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, an active Twitter user with over 7 million followers, also divulged that he supports Musk's Twitter takeover to encourage freedom of speech and support the public to voice their opinion on the platform. However, following the purchase, certain stakeholders are concerned regarding the new owners’ vision for Twitter and the direction the platform is heading.

As the current owner of Twitter, Musk has already commenced his plans of action. It is acknowledged that the multi-billionaire is set to lay-off an estimated 50% of the company’s workforce or around 3.700 people in efforts to cut the company’s cost. During this process, Twitter's board of directors was immediately dissolved, including the tech giant’s CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, as well as the legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. These measures were taken to replace them with Elon's most trusted colleagues, which includes 50 Tesla personnel, friends, advisors, and backers. Some of them being Tesla's angel investor Jason Calacanis and PayPal’s founding COO David Sacks. Subsequently, these actions led to the worries of Musk's loyalists as some were demanded to move their way from Tesla to Twitter. Nonetheless, they are not dismissed from their work at Tesla, making them work simultaneously for both firms. The new owner of Twitter is also pushing his employees to rapidly adjust this alteration by instructing them to grasp more about the source network and its procedures. According to CNBC, recent details from Twitter employees claimed that they were forced to learn new knowledge, such as source code, content moderation, and data-privacy requirements, in a short amount of time. They were given unbearable deadlines that needed to be taken into account. Eventually, these actions were done to suffice Musk's desire to modify and redesign the platform, with employees not having many options but to comply and follow along unless they want their jobs taken.

Prior to Elon Musk's acquisition, he had already planned to revamp the social media giant intensely. One was a plan to further monetize the platform in an approach to Twitter's paid tier, Twitter Blue. This massive convergence significantly changes the social media content creator utilizing it. As twitter blue is rumored to be priced at a monthly cost of US$8 for its service, Musk spoke out that there would be many new benefits, such as priorities in replies and half as many advertisements. Regarding monetization, according to Musk, this will also staggeringly benefit Twitter as it will generate a revenue stream to be then rewarded content creators on the platform. Though it has not been made official, plenty of evidence leads toward Elon's plan to allow content creators monetization as it has also been a long-awaited future in the platform. These plans are carried out to push the company to be less reliant on advertising revenue. Furthermore, the possibility of integration between social media and crypto is valuable and profitable, both for the management and the user. The chance that Musk will have crypto to play a significant role on Twitter gets bigger by some beliefs stating that a blockchain-based identity verification tool could reduce bots on Twitter, which supports Musk’s goal of wanting to authenticate all real humans on Twitter. Musk is enthusiastic to turn Twitter into a superapp, allowing more cryptocurrencies, with Dogecoin being a likely top candidate. Although Musk’s Twitter move has fanned the flames of disparate opinions ranging from policy debates to blockchain integration doubts, it is indisputable that he is challenging the already-existing practices and bringing avant-garde breakthroughs to the social media platform.




Washington Post

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