Elon Musk has become the wealthiest person in the world in late 2021 and further in 2022. The man behind notable tech companies such as Tesla and SpaceX has a reputation for exploring new ventures and entering into existing markets. On 4 April 2022, he revealed to the public that he bought 9.1 percent of Twitter for USD 2.65 billion.
The board of directors at Twitter offered Musk a seat alongside a deal that he cannot acquire more than 14.9 percent of the company. He refused to become part of the board. But he later made an unsolicited offer on 14 April 2022 to acquire the company for USD 43 billion. The board later accepted the offer on April 24 for USD 44 billion.
Probable Reasons Why Elon Musk Bought Twitter
Musk is one of the most followed personalities on Twitter with over 86 million followers. He is also a prolific user of the social networking platform and most of his opinions about business and current events have been coursed through this online-enabled channel.
Some of his previous tweets were influential in generating interest in his companies or cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin. Of course, these aforesaid are not enough reasons for him to spend multi-billion dollars to acquire the social media platform.
Nevertheless, this begs the following questions: Why did Elon Musk buy Twitter? What are his intentions and purpose? What does he want from Twitter? How does he plan to manage the platform? What are his plans for the company moving forward?
Championing Free Speech and Online Discourse
One of the reasons Musk wants to buy Twitter is the existing policies of the platform that he felt obstruct free speech and public discourse. He said in a statement sent to the public that “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
Note that the social media company has ramped its campaign against messages that it believed endangered the interest of the public. It even permanently suspended the account of Donald Trump in January 2021 due to the risk of further incitement of violence.
Critics of Musk have argued that it is possible for him to relax the policies of Twitter to give notorious personalities an unchecked medium of communication and to use the platform to advance his political and business interests.
The multibillionaire clarified in a tweet that he meant free speech as something that matches the law. He also added that he is against censorship that “goes far beyond the law” and “if people want less free speech, they will ask the government to pass laws to effect.” He believed that going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.
Observers noted that Musk might want to increase further the user base of the platform and make account owners more engaged with each other through diversity and inclusion. Some have expressed concerns over the proliferation of disinformation and hate speech.
Improving the Operations and Earnings of Twitter
Twitter is one of the most popular social networking sites and social media platforms in the world alongside Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok in terms of total user base and global reach. It has more than 200 million users in key regional markets including North America, Southeast Asia, South America, the Far East, Europe, and South Asia.
However, unlike other internet-based and service-oriented tech companies such as Google and Meta Platforms which generate most of their earnings from online advertisements, Twitter has not maximized its revenue-generating potential.
Event its stock market performance has not been impressive. Note that the company was founded in March 2006 and it became a publicly-traded company in November 2013. The April 2022 revelation that Musk owned 9.1 percent of the company resulted in its stock price rising to 27 percent—which was the largest intraday surge since its initial public offering.
Another stated reason why Elon Musk wants Twitter is to improve the platform with new features by making its algorithm open source to increase trust, dealing with spam bots, and authenticating all human accounts and human interactions.
He also wants to transition the company back to being a privately-owned enterprise. In his letter to Twitter following the acquisition offer, he explained that the company needs to become private “to go through the changes that need to be made.” Going private will enable Musk to pursue initiatives without needing to appease public shareholders.
A Further Note on Why Elon Musk Bought Twitter
It is important to highlight the fact that the aforementioned reasons why Elon Musk bought Twitter or why he has been insisting on owning or taking part in the social media company remain inconclusive. The multibillionaire business mogul can be unpredictable.
What is certain is that he remains the type of entrepreneur and business leader who pursue an endeavor or venture into an initiative with reasons. He is also visionary and futuristic. Remember that he acquired Tesla and made it one of the pioneers of electric vehicles and the largest automaker in the world in terms of market valuation.
He also founded SpaceX as part of his vision to reignite public interest in space exploration and Mars colonization. The company has pioneered cost-effective launches and has promoted the use of satellite internet through the Starlink business division.
Musk might have bigger plans for Twitter that are aligned with the future of the internet. It may become attuned with tech developments such as the growing applications of blockchain technologies and the prospects for creating a metaverse. Note that even Facebook became Meta because it recognizes the future metaverse applications.