The Future. Despite the attention-grabbing headlines, Elon Musk’s Twitter 2.0 really has nothing to do with protecting free speech or democratizing influence… it’s about turning the platform into his original vision of PayPal. That’s right; he wants Twitter to be at the center of your financial life. While it’s TBD if most users would give the bird app that much power, the unique makeup of the mobile phone ecosystem in the US may make that dream a couple of decades too late.
Elon Musk has hinted that he wants to turn Twitter into a super app called X… but what does that actually mean? The answer may be becoming clearer.
- He wants to model Twitter after China’s WeChat, allowing users to send money to each other, earn interest on deposits, and become the go-to app for all your financial needs.
- That would allow Twitter X, or whatever he calls it, to make most of its money from transactions and engagement as opposed to ads.
If this can be accomplished, Musk believes that the resulting revenue could eventually make Twitter worth $250 billion — roughly the market cap of Bank of America. Your mileage on that ambition may vary (see: here and here).
X marks the dream
Well, if you think all of that sounds like PayPal but with the ability to retweet memes… you’re not wrong.
- Musk’s online-banking startup, X.com, merged with Peter Thiel’s Confinity in 2000 to form PayPal.
- Musk was ousted as CEO before he could see his vision through — a vision that Musk said last year that he plans to “execute… with some improvements” through Twitter.
We’ll see if Musk can make that 23-year dream happen… or if he’ll be brought down by his own impulses.