Last time when Elon Musk took a dig at his users, he had to transform into Shiba Inu with a smile on Twitter – an internal joke that propelled Dogecoin’s value by up to 30 percent, in which Musk was an investor. A class action is still pending.
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Over the weekend, the world’s former richest man rallied a crowd for the platform, now called “X.” Early today, the unveiling of “X” took place. Twitter – oops, “X” – CEO Linda Yaccarino enthusiastically shared, “Apologies, ‘X’ is an ongoing reimagination aiming to become the ultimate all-encompassing forum, catering to ideas, products, trade, and global opportunities, all powered by cutting-edge AI technology.”
The new brand – which users have noted looks quite like standard Unicode “X” – is the latest iteration that Musk has been working on since the end of the 1990s. First, he tried to create an online bank on x.com until the company booted him out, renaming itself as PayPal, its sole successful service.
Elon Musk kills Twitter name for for ‘X’ super app
Ever since Elon Musk secured ownership of the x.com domain back in 2017, he has continuously expanded upon that vision, integrating messaging, e-commerce, video, and now AI, creating a unified platform that offers it all.
According to Yaccarino’s words, “The potential of this transformation knows no bounds.” “X is poised to become the quintessential platform that delivers an all-encompassing experience.”
It won’t be about building a super-app; X will have to construct an entirely new financial infrastructure, win over regulators with clear and diligent compliance to rules, and gain the trust of users and advertisers who have abandoned Twitter since Musk took over.
David Shrier, a professor of AI and innovation at Imperial College Business School, says, “If your brand equity is decreasing and your user experience is deteriorating, then you’re already three laps behind in the race.” “This is a 23-year-old business plan that didn’t work then, and now it’s being applied in an even worse market situation,” he said about Twitter’s rebranding to X.
The core basis of any super-app will be payments – enabling people to pay each other, businesses to pay for goods and services, and to earn money for the same. In January, Twitter began applying for a license to clear transactions in the US, in what was reportedly a first step toward building “X,” led by Esther Crawford, the start-up squad that Twitter acquired in 2020. Crawford, who had posted a picture of herself lying on a bed on the floor of Twitter’s office in its early days under Musk’s reign, was fired in February.
On Sunday, Crawford tweeted what seemed like a sarcastic nod to the rebrand. “Corporate sepukku: destroying one’s own product or brand,” she wrote.
Frequently, in the pursuit of reducing expenses, this action is taken without fully grasping the core business or overlooking the significance of customer experience.
Tech companies have often tried to enter fintech by extracting more revenue from their users and transforming platforms into wide-ranging financial ecosystems. Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Southeast Asia’s Grab and Gojek have launched financial products that allow them to pay drivers and take payments from users. Meta has made several attempts to increase payments in its successful markets with limited impact. In April, Meta started accepting payments on WhatsApp in Brazil. Apple has launched Apple Card and Apple Savings with Apple Pay.
Devin Kohlhaas, co-managing partner at venture capital firm Outward VC, says, “If you’re closest to the transactions, you’re the master of your own destiny.” “Yes, people care about social stuff, but if you control their financial flows, you have much higher stickiness and much lower churn.”
But fintech experts were skeptical about Twitter’s chances of making regulations that users will trust and regulators will allow.
Francis Coppola, an independent analyst, says, “I don’t honestly think there is any chance of this becoming a reality.” “Regulators are difficult to work around, and I think governments will put the kibosh on any attempt to avoid them,” she says, adding that Musk will need an army of experts around the world to deal with hundreds of regulatory obstacles.
Twitter perspective on regulation for management is akin to rent-a-crowd payment for Musk
During June, the corporation encountered a formal communication from the Australian authorities, pressing for a comprehensive explanation of its stance on hate speech following the significant reduction in its content moderation and oversight. trust and safety staff. Twitter is also facing a tough battle to comply with the European Union’s Digital Services Act and could face fines or blocks in the EU if it fails to adhere to strict management of misinformation.
Payment companies have to adhere to strict and constant regulations, verifying the identities of their customers and monitoring financial flows for potential money laundering, terrorist financing, and other criminal activities.
Financial institutions and fintech companies typically boast extensive compliance divisions that may appear incongruent with Musk’s outlook. In an interview with the BBC in April, Coppola said, “I don’t see it as a viable commercial proposition.” “I think Musk’s attempt to lure advertisers back to the platform is more cunning than anything else.”
Ever since the acquisition of Musk, Twitter’s advertising revenue has nearly halved, with major advertisers entrusting their resources to drop shippers. To bring them back, Twitter needs to detoxify its platform, create a safe space for brands, and focus less on crypto trading and conspiracy theories.
This month, Twitter started paying influential people on the platform based on their engagement. Controversial figures from the far-right and infamous misogynist Andrew Tate were among the initial beneficiaries, sparking an ongoing investigation into alleged cases of rape and human trafficking in Romania.
The four or five-figure sums Twitter offers to influential figures are significantly lower than other platforms. YouTube has ten times more users; TikTok has five times more, meaning successful influencers can reach larger audiences and earn bigger rewards there.
Twitter needs to find its footing as a video platform. In its pre-Musk iteration, the company attempted several times. It acquired the short-form video platform Vine in 2012, doubling down on its live-streaming service Periscope, but discontinued both in 2017. Periscope was eventually shelved in 2021.
Under Musk’s helm, Twitter has undergone a transformation with the launch of Southpaw talk show hosted by Carlson. The first episode showcased principles and support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, immediately followed by a cease and desist letter from Carlson’s former employer, Fox News.
For Musk, x.AI represents the final piece of AI. The company is partnering with x.AI, an AI startup that launched earlier this month. Having invested in OpenAI, whose GPT chatbot has fueled the current AI boom, and having poured considerable investments into electric vehicles and space tech startups Tesla and SpaceX, Musk possesses ample artificial intelligence prowess.
On Musk, Sharier says, “He keeps pushing the envelope in AI.” He goes on to say that while he can still surprise us with significant AI advancements, “Who cares if you’ve separated your top influencers, your audience is shrinking every month, your user experience is worsening, your brand value has plummeted? If you have great AI, who cares?”