Musk’s Vision for the Future of Twitter
For months now, Elon Musk has been eagerly and openly discussing his ambition to create X, an “everything app” that would feature various services, including financial payments. Essentially transforming Twitter into a bank would unlock new possibilities for this social media app and revolutionize the concept of social media as we know it today.
If you’re wondering about the ways in which this would be achievable or why Elon Musk would want to pursue this idea, here are his thoughts on the topic.
I think there’s this transformative opportunity in payments. And payments really are just the exchange of information. From an information standpoint, not a huge difference between, say, just sending a direct message and sending a payment. They are basically the same thing. In principle, you can use a direct messaging stack for payments. And so that’s definitely a direction we’re going to go in, enabling people on Twitter to be able to send money anywhere in the world instantly and in real time. We just want to make it as useful as possible.
Elon Musk said in his first meeting with Twitter employees as their new CEO, according to the Verge.
“Money is Just Information”
It has been seven months since the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk was finalized, and the new CEO of Twitter shows no signs of changing his mind about transforming the Twitter app. In a recent Twitter space session streamed on May 17th, he emphasized that there is significant room for improvement in the traditional finance platforms that are currently in use. He referred to these existing financial systems as “very inefficient,” suggesting that an alternative system could be developed to counterbalance all the negative aspects of its predecessors.
Photo illustration: Freepik
He further described the financial systems of today as “a heterogeneous set of databases running on mainframes of COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) that still engage in batch processing.” This description indicates his dissatisfaction with the currently available services and his urge to create a new and improved alternative.
Money is just information. But that’s not the only reason. It’s just a thing that would be, I think, poetic to fulfill ultimately the vision that I‘ve had for X over 23 years, and actually seeing that come to fruition would be nice.
Said Musk recently in a Twitter space.
What Has Happened So Far and What to Expect in the Near Future?
At the beginning of 2023, Twitter initiated the process of applying for the regulatory licenses required to enter the US payments business. Some reports suggest that Twitter is also developing new infrastructure to support Musk’s vision for the app.
If these plans come to fruition, the X app would become a better version of PayPal, an online payments platform co-founded by Elon Musk. Musk recently criticized PayPal, stating that “What people see in PayPal is sort of like a half-baked version of what it could be, and so I think there is potential to create a more efficient financial system.”
While it’s highly uncommon to criticize one’s own previous creations or businesses to promote another, the influence of someone like Musk in today’s culture may make it an effective promotion for the new X app.
In addition, it’s important to note that while things are already in motion, the timeline for Musk’s plans to take shape remains uncertain. It could take months or even years to determine the necessary changes to the infrastructure that would enable Twitter to truly become the “everything app.”
Furthermore, since Twitter’s acquisition by Elon Musk, both the platform and its new CEO have faced scrutiny for various reasons. The trustworthiness of Twitter has come into question, which could raise doubts and debates regarding the mass adoption of Twitter as a financial services app.