Elon Musk, Twitter's New Owner. Finally!
Elon Musk, The main man of Tesla and SpaceX made an offer to buy Twitter in April, saying that he wants to promote free speech and end Twitter’s permanent ban on some users. The offer finally comes to an agreement. The completion of the $44 billion purchase of Twitter took place on Thursday, October 27, 2022.
Twitter Before the Deal
Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006 and launched in July of that year. Dorsey tweeted his first tweet that read, “just setting up my twttr.” In October 2006, Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeo formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo, together with its assets—including Odeo.com and Twitter.com.
The app’s popularity started to explode during the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000. In the same year, Twitter granted a $100,000 Series A funding round led by Union Square Ventures. Later on, Dorsey, subsequently stepped down as CEO over concerns about the executive’s management style and public boasting. He was replaced by Williams.
In just 6 years, on December 18, 2012 Twitter announced it had surpassed 200 million monthly active users. The company later launch its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013. The combined wealth of Williams, Dorsey, and Costolo is approximately around $4 billion. Dorsey returns as CEO of the company in 2015.
In 2016, rumors began circulating that Twitter was looking to be acquired. Potential buyers were Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Verizon, and The Walt Disney Company. However, no deal was made, with reports in October stating that all the potential buyers dropped out partly due to concerns over abuse and harassment on the service.
Twitter became an essential social media tool. Besides working as a mini-blogging, it will deliver information and news faster than news channels. NASA Astronaut Timothy Creamer sent the first tweet live from outer orbit. protesters throughout Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia used the site to post reports and to organize, and Barack Obama used the “platform to first declare victory publicly in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.
Meanwhile, Trump as the president continued to use Twitter as his megaphone. Twitter permanently banned Trump from inflammatory comments in 2021.
Later on November 29, 2021, Dorsey suddenly stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Parag Agrawal, the company’s chief technology officer.
Elon Musk - Twitter Saga Timeline
<Read Elon Musk- Twitter acquisition planning from April 4 – April 17>
The fairytale begins on April 4, when Musk disclosed a 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him its biggest shareholder. Elon complained publicly about his belief that Twitter’s bot accounts were significantly higher than Twitter’s estimate. Later on, his lawyers accused Twitter of not complying in providing the information on the subject.
Elon Musk gave notice to Twitter on July 8, 2022 highlighting his intention to terminate their deal with the reasoning of – Twitter misled him with the spam accounts/bots and did not give him full cooperation. On July 12, Twitter sued Musk in Delaware, forcing him to complete the deal.
The Delaware judge gave him a deadline till Friday, October 28, 2022 to close the transaction and avoid the trial. On October 4, 2022 Musk was set to be deposed by Twitter’s lawyers ahead of the start of their trial and recounter another offer to complete the deal as promised.
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” — Elon Musk.
According to the October 28 deadline to close the deal was ordered by the Delaware Chancery Court in early October. If the two sides don’t meet the Friday deadline, the next step could be a November trial that could lead to a judge forcing Musk to complete the deal.
‘Let Sink In’
Hyping up the Tweeter meme, Elon Musk walked into Twitter’s headquarters on Wednesday, October 28 with a big grin and carrying a porcelain sink, subsequently tweeting “let that sink in”. Elon Musk changed his description on his Twitter Profile’s Bio to “Chief Twit”.
Elon Musk's Twitter leadership begins with firings
Elon Musk’s first move after becoming Twitter’s new owner was to fire the top executives he had accused of misleading him. Elon Musk accused them of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the social media platform.
The executives that mark the firing spree are Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, general counsel Sean Edgett, and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. Agrawal and Segal were in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and they were escorted out. Agrawal, Segal, and Gadde lay off work also served as a golden parachute which they were expected to receive separation payouts amounting to approximately US$122 million.
Musk previously claimed he would fire 75% of the company’s staff once he took the organization. However, he later shot down the rumor as most employees are braced for widespread layoff. They are are afraid of being retrenched before they’re set to receive stock grants on November 1.
Elon Musk's future plan for Twitter
Musk has indicated he sees Twitter as a foundation for creating a “super app” that offers everything. Technology analysts have speculated that Musk wants to use Twitter to help create an “everything app” similar to China’s WeChat. The app will later have features for chatting, news, money transfer, shopping, and more.
He replied to a tweet highlighting the possibility of generating monetization opportunities for content creators.
Twitter’s stocks before going Private
Twitter’s share price slump of 1.5% in a one-year period as of Thursday morning. Twitter shares ended trading at $53.86, a small discount the $54.20. New York Stock Exchange notified investors that it will suspend trading in shares of Twitter before the opening bell Friday in anticipation of the company going private under Musk.
“A beautiful thing about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism – people are able to disseminate news without an establishment bias”. – Elon Musk.
Twitter and Advertisement
According to reports by CNBC, CNN, and Reuters, General Motors (GM) is temporarily pressing pauses advertisement on Twitter after the Tesla chief’s Elon Musk acquisition of the company. On the contrary, its customer care interactions on Twitter will still carry on.
Last month, Twitter witnessed several major brands including Cole Haan, Coca-Cola, PBS Kids, Walt Disney, Dyson, and Forbes pull their ads from the platform after appearing next to child porn tweets. Twitter promised to carefully investigate and take the appropriate steps to prevent this from happening in the future.
The further pull of ads from social media will hurt the platform as Twitter’s ad revenue formed more than 90% of Twitter’s revenue. Twitter ad’s revenue for Q2 2022 amounted to $1.08B out of total revenue of $1.18B.
Elon Musk Open Letter to Advertiser
“Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand grows your enterprise.”
Musk tweeted – ‘The whole verification process is being revamped right now’.
Currently, there are almost 400,000 verified users on Twitter and the number will soon come to change.
Just a few days after taking over Twitter, Elon Musk assigned the social media engineers with a hard new project. The project was issued on October 30, and he expected them to kick it by November 7, 2022. It is either ready with the plan to launch or faces the possibility of being fired.
The project assigned involved a subscription fee plan for users to remain verified. Currently, the plan is to launch a pay-for-play verification system, where users will be enforced to subscribe to Twitter Blue to lose their ‘verified’ badges. Plus, Twitter will also increase the subscription price for Twitter Blue (currently only available to the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.) from US$4.99 a month to US$19.99 a month.
Musk who also famously a big fan and investor of cryptocurrency. It is high possibility to addin cryptocurrency payment system on Twitter.
Elon Musk also stated that “Twitter is way overdue for long-form tweets!”
Twitter will late be more than just 230 words. That is finally something positive along with the edit button. Last month, Twitter did begin testing an edit button with early access granted to Twitter Blue members in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Twitter had yet to make the features available for US subscribers, yet Musk may speed up the process.
There had been a whole roller-coaster ride of the Twitter buy-out. Elon Musk had a lot of dishes in his plate for the social media titan. It had only been less than a week since the owner change hand, Elon Musk had made several drastic changes. This trend will likely to continue until his whole vision come into picture.
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