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Elon Musk’s New Ambitions for X (formerly Twitter) One Year After Its Acquisition

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One year ago, Elon Musk became the owner of Twitter, now known as X. The eccentric billionaire disrupted the social network with a specific goal in mind: creating a super app, similar to the Chinese model. The recent announcements made to employees align with this vision.

X (formerly Twitter) celebrated the one-year anniversary of Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social network on October 26th. After “setting the bird free” by investing $44 billion, the unconventional billionaire shook things up by removing the CEO and most of the top executives and then proceeded to lay off 6,500 out of 8,000 employees. Since then, he has continuously made announcements that have not been very reassuring to advertisers, all with the goal of turning X into an all-encompassing application, a “super app” similar to WeChat. To achieve this, the social network is evolving incrementally, regularly testing new features for diversification and enhancing the overall user experience.

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For this somewhat unique anniversary, Elon Musk and the CEO of the social network, who joined in the spring, Linda Yaccarino, took the opportunity to announce their new ambitions. They now both aim to compete with YouTube and LinkedIn, shortly after targeting WhatsApp by introducing audio and video calls.

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They also aspire to create a news wire service called XWire, which would compete with PR Newswire, specializing in press releases, according to an insider source cited by Bloomberg. Few details have leaked from this meeting with the company’s leadership. The exact nature of these new services is still unknown.

In a joint internal memo sent to X employees and seen by Bloomberg, Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino expressed their optimism, stating that the company is now “positioned for growth” and celebrating having achieved a “decade of innovation in just 12 months” on the platform. The duo is also banking on paid services for the future.

X indeed plans to launch two new premium subscription tiers soon. The social network has already tested a $1 per year subscription in New Zealand and the Philippines. New platform users in these countries now need to pay to post messages or other content, like, respond, or add favorites, at a cost of $1 per year.

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However, one year after Elon Musk’s arrival, the numbers don’t necessarily meet expectations. According to Similarweb, web traffic on the platform dropped by 14% between September 2022 and September 2023. The share of branded content also declined by 16.5%. Web traffic in the United States decreased by 19% during this period, and mobile traffic dropped by nearly 18%. A similar trend was observed in other countries: -11.6% in the UK, -13.4% in France, -17.9% in Germany, and -17.5% in Australia.

Sources: SimilarWeb

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