Elon Musk is betting big on transforming the struggling microblogging platform formerly known as Twitter into a profitable rival to China’s WeChat, acting as a one-stop shop serving users’ daily needs.
For Musk’s ambitious plan to succeed, X must become users’ primary interface with the world. One tactic to achieve this goal is to persuade people to abandon traditional phone calls and communicate through X.
Now Musk himself plans to lead by example, signaling a radical change in the way he connects with the world.
“In a few months, I will stop having my phone number and will only use X for text messages and audiovisual calls,” Musk told the 170 million accounts that follow him, including bots.
He did not say whether this means world leaders courting the tycoon for investments will also have to contact him through X.
In his quest to absorb traffic from other rival apps, Musk has completely reshaped Twitter.
He removed the name because he felt it was inextricably associated with microblogging and feared that its approximately 550 million monthly users would reject new features such as voice calling over the Internet.
Hoping he could steal some YouTube views, for example, he prompted social media star Mr. Beast to re-upload an old video to X.
For this paltry effort, he was handsomely rewarded with a $250,000 revenue-sharing check, so generous that even the influencer doubted it reflected his actual commitment.
Musk and his CEO Linda Yaccarino have also struck some deals, including one with sports news anchor Jim Rome to publish exclusive X content.
On Thursday, it announced a new partnership with World Wrestling Entertainment to show five-minute quick matches only for X users.
“There is nothing stopping Elon Musk”
– Teslaconomics (@Teslaconomics) February 8, 2024
In the process, however, Musk has also sparked controversy by advancing outlandish far-right conspiracy theories and demonizing his political opponents.
Hacker group Anonymous said this month that Musk’s claim to have turned X into a bastion of free speech isn’t even accurate.
He alleged that the Community Notes function, which controls the content of the site, has been disabled on behalf of the tycoon himself; Proposals can still be made, but it seems that none are published.
Subsequently, companies like Disney withdrew their investment in advertising, fearing it was unsafe for their family-oriented brand.
In retaliation for bringing his company to the brink of bankruptcy, he removed Disney+ from Tesla cars and is now funding a lawsuit against them.
People should ask themselves why the “free speech provider” (@Elon Musk) has disabled community notes on his account, so people can’t correct his misguided conspiracy theories.
– Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) February 5, 2024
Musk fans like it chef More and more are turning away from the entrepreneur in disappointment, and if more follow him, it will be difficult for him to turn X into the next WeChat.
But the tycoon is nothing if not driven, and there will always be people convinced that he will succeed no matter the odds.
“There is nothing stopping Elon Musk,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told X influencer Tucker Carlson in an interview this week.