Elon Musk is a man in a hurry.
He wants to move fast.
The new boss and owner of the Twitter social network (TWTR) – Get a free quote he wants to make his mark on the platform, which cost him $44 billion.
He had to charge $13 billion to the banks to finance this acquisition, which was a stretch at best. But now, the billionaire wants to find new sources of income to revive the microblogging site.
It launched a new version of its Twitter Blue subscription service, adding the blue authentication badge to identify the account holder and nearly doubling the price to $7.99.
But that is not all.
Musk has never made it a secret that he aspires to use Twitter to create a Mega app or everything platform. An app where you can socialize, buy a plane ticket, go shopping or do your shopping.
He just took a new step in this strategy. He wants Twitter to offer payment services, as a platform where users can shop, buy goods and be offered money market accounts.
This is what he told advertisers during a live streaming meeting, which took place at Twitter Spaces on November 9. He was trying to appease and seduce these advertisers, some of whom like GM (GM) – Get a free quote Stellantis, (STLA) – Get a free quoteAudi (VLKAF) General Mills (GIS) – Get a free quote and Pfizer (PFE) – Get a free quotethey have currently suspended the promotion of their products and services on the social network pending its content management policy.
On the broadcast, Musk explained that Twitter was building on two pillars for this diversification into financial services. The company will allow creators/influencers to monetize their content. These creators, for example, will be able to charge for certain videos.
Twitter’s plans for creators must be “competitive with the alternatives” to entice them, the billionaire said, referring to other social media networks such as TikTok, Youtube Shorts and Instagram Reels.
“So there’s a kind of mindless movement,” Musk said.
Twitter is working on a “Paywall Video” feature, the idea of which would be to allow creators/influencers to charge users who want to see a tweet accompanied by a video. Consequently, creators could end up cashing in by monetizing their content.
The billionaire also believes that its new subscription service Twitter Blue, which incorporates the paid option of account verification, is another opportunity that will allow it to become a kind of fintech, since the company will know that they have been verified by the “contractual payment system’, based on the fact that to register they have to pay with their credit or debit card.
Money Transfer + Savings Accounts
He said users could then send money to each other on the platform by linking their account to their bank account once they had a cash balance. Twitter could even entice users to move money by offering them a small cash prize directly into their accounts to get them started.
“Now we can say, OK, you have a balance in your account, do you want to send money to someone else within Twitter?” Musk said, “And maybe we pre-populate their account and say, OK, we’ll give you $10 and you can send it anywhere on Twitter.”
Users will also be able to transfer their money from Twitter to certified regular bank accounts.
Those projects appear to be at an advanced stage after the New York Times revealed on the same day that Musk and Twitter filed paperwork last week with authorities to qualify for payment processing.
The request was filed with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN. Companies that perform money transfers, exchange currency or cash checks must register with FinCEN and report suspicious transactions to the agency.
Longer term, Musk plans to offer Twitter users the ability to open bank accounts on the platform, and more specifically savings accounts. To achieve this, Twitter wants to offer high interest rates to attract users and become a direct competitor to Apple (AAPL) – Get a free quote, which recently launched the Savings Account for Apple credit cardholders, in partnership with Goldman Sachs. It also wants to compete with PayPal (PYPL) – Get a free quote and Venmo.
“The next step would be this offer of a super exciting money market account where you get a super high return on your balance,” the billionaire said.
That could then lead to Twitter offering “debit cards, checks and everything else,” he said.
Musk has a wealth of experience in financial services. He co-founded X, a financial services company in 1999 in Palo Alto, California. X merged in 2000 with software company Confinity.com. The merged company became PayPal.
“Twitter’s purchase accelerates the creation of X, the everything app,” the billionaire tweeted on October 4.
He has hinted that his vision for Twitter was comparable to what he envisioned for X. His model is WeChat, the Chinese multi-service super app. It combines social media with payments, gaming, messaging, booking an airline ticket, ordering food, shopping, etc.
“There is no WeChat equivalent outside of China,” Musk told Twitter employees during an internal call everywhere on June 16. “You basically live on WeChat in China. If we can recreate that with Twitter, we’ll be very successful.”