Once the takeover is complete, Elon Musk should transform Twitter from top to bottom. According to analysts, the billionaire could well reshape the social network into an all-in-one application similar to WeChat. Is Elon Musk’s ambitious project doomed to failure?
After months of twists and turns, Elon Musk has finally agreed to buy Twitter. According to several experts interviewed by our colleagues from ABCNews, the social network should diametrically change under the control of the billionaire.
“There are big changes that will be on the agenda”said Bill Mann, an analyst at Motley Fool, a private financial advisory and investment firm.
Analysts say Elon Musk might want to reshape twitter adding a host of features. The entrepreneur has also recently assured that the takeover of Twitter will accelerate the creation of his super all-in-one application project, X.com.
Twitter, the future Western WeChat?
Elon Musk would probably like to develop a western version of WeChat, the Chinese application used by a billion people. Very popular in China, WeChat allows you to order takeaway meals, make payments, communicate with loved ones or even book an appointment with the doctor. During a meeting with Twitter employees, Elon Musk also spoke at length about his fascination with WeChat.
For experts contacted by ABCNews, Elon Musk will soon convert Twitter into swiss army knife app to WeChat. This strategy should allow the social network, whose user base has stagnated for years, to attract new users and accelerate its growth.
“It’s easy to see why any company would want that”notes Bill Mann about the super app project.
Elon Musk notably mentioned the possibility of integrating a payment system to Twitter. This system should be based on cryptocurrencies. For example, it would be possible to pay for the Twitter Blue subscription, which allows you to edit a tweet, through digital currencies. For Bill Man, adding a payment system would be ” the holy grail of any application”. If successful, the feature could boost the group’s revenue.
Read also: Despite Elon Musk’s takeover offer, Twitter refuses to cancel the lawsuit
A path strewn with pitfalls
Twitter’s ambitious transformation risks colliding with a series of obstacles, say analysts. First of all, the American regulator could object to an application seeking to obtain market monopoly by multiplying its services. In addition, the Twitter application fantasized by Elon Musk will come into confrontation with the competition, already well established in the daily life of Internet users.
” There are many competitors that Twitter will have to fight”explains Sinan Aral, professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
To impose Twitter in the West like WeChat in China, Elon Musk will have to compete with already widely used social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp. With its panel of popular applications, Meta has the offer that comes closest to a Western WeChat.
“It will take years and many challenges to overcome”says Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, estimating Elon Musk’s chances of success at only 20%.
However, experts agree that Elon Musk’s project is not without interest. Despite competition from Meta and restrictions from regulators, the billionaire could achieve his goals.
” Again, there’s a reason he’s the richest person in the world. Its back has been against the wall again and again, and it has met with monster success regardless, like with Tesla and SpaceX adds Dan Ives.
Relaxing moderation, Elon Musk’s other priority
At the same time, Elon Musk should focus on relaxation of moderation content on the social network. The Tesla founder has never made a secret of his intention to allow outrageous positions, as long as they don’t break the law. According to him, the social network must be content to apply the legislation in force.
“I want to let people who have relatively extreme views express those views within the confines of the law,” summarized Elon Musk in June.
With this in mind, Elon Musk could reconsider some controversial decisions taken by Twitter executives, such as ousting Donald Trump. In view of the opinions posted by the founder of Tesla, Sinan Aral believes that the former president of the United States, banned following the attack on Capitol Hill, would immediately be back on Twitter. A few months ago, Donald Trump, however, opposed a possible return to Twitter.
For his part, Dan Ives believes that the libertarian ideology of Elon Musk risksconflict with business strategy from Twitter. Indeed, the platform’s business model is based on advertising revenue. To attract advertisers, Twitter must first attract users. By allowing hateful and shocking speech, Twitter could lose a significant portion of its users, thus cutting into its profits.
“Musk talks about ‘freedom of speech,’ but if it becomes problematic on Twitter, it goes against the monetization of the platform”emphasizes Dan Ives.
De facto, the changes proposed by Musk could prove economically disastrous. The billionaire could therefore revise his ambitions in this area downwards. To soften the moderation despite everything, Elon Musk has several times mentioned the possibility ofemancipate Twitter from advertisers. The entrepreneur wants advertising to no longer be the platform’s major source of revenue. In particular, it relies on revenue from paid subscriptions to reduce Twitter’s dependence on advertising.