It felt almost as if Elon Musk was and Twitter were in an endless dance.
It ended abruptly – at least for now – with a brief, succinct email from Musk’s lawyers to Twitter’s. This announced that he intends to buy the company and a mysterious tweet from Musk to his 107,000,000 followers about creating “X”, the all-encompassing app.
The dance started in April 2022. Musk purchased some Twitter shares and was invited by the board. Musk initially declined to join the board, but later accepted. Then, Elon Musk decided to purchase the entire platform.
Twitter went into defensive mode, trying to stop him becoming majority shareholder. He then offered a $44bn deal to buy the company. This was more than the firm was worth. Investors pushed for it.
Twitter accepted. Next, Elon Musk claimed that the company had miscalculated the number of bot accounts and spam on its platform. Both sides fought back.
This was not resolved and Musk announced that he would be leaving. It is vital because Twitter is less appealing if it is full of fake news and other stuff than it really is.
Drama in the courtroom
Musk’s offer was rumored to have been made impulsively. Elon Musk’s plan to finance it, which would involve selling some of his shares in Tesla’s electric car company, had caused anxiety among investors and forced him to seek an exit strategy.
The two warring sides were to meet in court in less than a fortnight. This was because Twitter had already done its U-turn and wanted the sale to go ahead. If either party decided to walk away, there was a $1bn termination charge.
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Court documents already revealed some shocking revelations, including private messages that showed that Parag Agrawal, Twitter CEO, had gotten into a fight with Elon Musk. Jack Dorsey tried to mediate.
Did there seem to be more during the deposition? Perhaps Musk is trying to save face and buy himself some time before he faces a court case that many thought would be difficult for him.
The app that does everything
We will be watching this space for his tweet about “X the app for all” It is possible that he could be looking at something similar to the highly successful Chinese app WeChat. It’s a type of “super app”, which integrates many different services, including messaging, social networking, payments, and food orders. There is no such thing in western countries.
Twitter, compared to its competitors, is a relatively small platform, with only 300m monthly users. It has not experienced the rapid growth of Instagram or TikTok. It is still considered to be influential and is used widely by politicians, world leaders, and businesses to share comments and opinions.
Musk stated that he was going to buy Twitter when he first made the announcement. He said he wanted more “free speech” and less moderation. This is a difficult line for any social media company to follow and still adhere to various hate speech laws in different regions.
The news is good news for Twitter, whose shares rose 20% after the letter from the lawyer was disclosed. However, Musk could decide to make the platform a completely different type of playground. This could cause it to lose its existing fans, but it could also attract a new audience. Parag Agrawal, CEO, is likely to dust down his resume.