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Why Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter

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Why Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter

The entire stake of Twitter for $ 43 billion. Take or leave. Elon Musk surprisingly, he presented what he calls his “best and latest offer” to buy 100% of the social network founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey.

It all happened in 10 days. On April 4, Musk announces that he has acquired 9.1% of the company, becoming the main shareholder. The 11 refuses to join the board of directors of the company, a move that for the analysts already presaged the next one: an offer for total control of the company that, as a member of the board, he could not have made. Now, should it be accepted, Tesla’s CEO would become the sole owner of the social network. But to do what?

Unleashing the potential of Twitter

In a letter sent to Bret Taylorpresident of Twitter, Musk explained the reasons for his move: “I invested in Twitter because I believe I believe it can become the platform for free speech all over the world, and I believe that free speech is imperative for democracy to function. ”

But the current corporate form, he explains, does not allow for this “imperative” to be honored. To do that there has to be a single owner, “go private”, and he concludes: “Twitter has tremendous potential. I’m going to release it.”

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The use of Twitter to move ideas and markets

There is no doubt that Musk has a clear understanding of the potential of Twitter, which he currently has 436 million active users (Statista data). With his posts he made the price of cryptovalute when it opened up to the possibility of buying Tesla in bitcoin in January 2021. He made them collapse when he retraced his steps a few months later, dismissing the main crypto as “energy eater”.

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In 2018, again on Twitter, he announced his intention to buy back all the shares on the Tesla market, bringing their value in a few hours from 340 to 380 dollars, only to take back everything after two days and attracting the ire of the SEC, the American authority. market guarantor.

From his Twitter account, where he is followed by 81.6 million people, at the beginning of 2021 it armed the population with micro investors, contributing to the take-off of the phenomenon of ‘memestock‘(GameStop the most famous of these), or companies listed on Wall Street that for institutional investors and hedge funds were destined to collapse, but on which hundreds of thousands of small investors have staked their savings causing sudden and often unjustified increases of price.

On Twitter, Musk acted like a real guy market mover. A profile capable of moving money, inaugurating trends and shifting value. Twitter is the only social network he uses. It is his world. And now that world wants to buy it moved by a particular idea of ​​”freedom of speech and expression” which, however, does not see everyone agree.


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What does Musk mean when he talks about freedom

“Musk saw the potential of the vehicle, first of all as a personal use”, he comments to Italian Tech Matteo Flora, social media reputation expert and CEO of The Fool. “Twitter is the perfect tool to acquire immense power in this moment. A dual power: personal, but also to manage the dynamics between social media and power. “An example?” It could reopen to Donald Trump“, kicked out of the social after the events of Capitol Hill of January 6, 2021,” and to all those that the social policies have removed from the platform in recent years. With Twitter he would become the second of the most influential men in the social media arena along with Mark Zuckerberg. No other media could give it equal power. ”

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But could this power translate into greater social freedom, as it promises? “It depends on what we mean by freedom. Musk wants to apply his idea of ​​freedom to Twitter. But centralization hardly ever moves along the paths of freedom“adds Flora.

The potential of Twitter, between market and politics

By removing Twitter from the stock market, Musk would like to untie the social network from the pressure of investors who in recent years have asked for an increasingly tight control of content to prevent advertisers from publishing their tweets between violent, racist or xenophobic posts.

But there is another potential that Musk may have spotted, and that’s the one that emerged specifically afterward the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The Ukrainian premier Volodymyr Zelensky and his deputy Mykhailo Fedorov they managed through the social network to mobilize millions of people in support of the cause of Kiev, asking for and obtaining the support of companies and organizations against the invasion.

Musk himself exchanged several tweets with Fedorov, giving Kiev a load of terminals on February 28th Starlink (another company owned by him) to allow the country to connect to the Internet even under the blows of Russian artillery.

War in Ukraine

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Twitter like Telegram, but at what price?

“There is no doubt that Twitter has enormous potential, and it is true that the war in Ukraine is among the factors that brought it out. But it all depends on which direction Musk decides to go. At the moment I don’t see many alternatives: to free Twitter from blocking and moderation would mean making it like Telegram, therefore open to all contents, including the most extremist and violent ones. If this is the way, I don’t think advertisers will be very happy to advertise on an uncontrolled social network “, he explains to Italian Tech Vincenzo Cosenza, social media expert and author of Vincos.it. “It could also try to innovate Twitter from a technological point of view and open it to the decentralized technologies of Web 3.0, but it is a difficult and perhaps premature path at the moment”, adds Cosenza.

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Meanwhile, at the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, it’s time to make decisions. The company has announced meetings with investors, consultants and employees to decide what to do. Musk’s offer is one that is hard to turn down.

Economically it is the best it can be, but it carries with it several unknowns concerning the future and the very nature of the social network. The entrepreneur will not raise. The ball is now in the field of those who have made and led the company so far.

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