So what is Elon Musk’s long-term vision for Twitter, and also exactly how does he intend to transform the application right into a billion-user, profitable device, as he’s continuously specified in meetings?
Today, we obtained a take a look at Elon’s wider tactical assuming around the application, in addition to some brand-new updates on exactly how Twitter 2.0 is advancing on numerous aspects.
Musk made a brand-new discussion on Twitter, and also his various other organizations, to the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and also Telecom Meeting in San Francisco, where Musk provided understanding right into numerous essential elements, including their deal with mitigating hate speech, the development in use of the application, and also the larger vision to transform Twitter right into an essential repayments and also business application.
To Begin With, Musk described his basic vision for Twitter, and also making it the ‘international community square’ once more.
Twitter has actually constantly had this as a specifying objective, of kinds, though it relocated far from the ‘community square’ mounting in the last years under previous chief executive officer Jack Dorsey, that came to be disappointed with the unpreventable phone calls that needed to be made by Twitter administration on what might and also might not be cooperated the application.
That’s been a specifying aspect of Musk’s press to change Twitter’s method, by enabling extra complimentary and also open speech, and also preferably, allowing the individuals choose what ought to be permitted, with Area Notes readied to play a larger duty in allowing Twitter individuals themselves to authorities false information and also untruths by including contextual explainers to private tweets.
Musk additionally set out Twitter 2.0’s core concepts, which he really hopes will at some point make Twitter a resource of reality, by equipping input from all individuals.
According To Musk:
“So the objective is to have Twitter be the very best resource of reality, one of the most prompt and also exact resource of reality, also if the reality is something we do not wish to listen to or undesirable or whatever, however have it be prompt and also exact and also where you can actually recognize what’s taking place.”
Musk additionally clarified that the media is presently able to regulate essential stories by selecting what to cover, and also what obtains leading concern. However Twitter allows all individuals to choose what’s relevant quicker, by helping with extra inputs. Which is why, in Musk’s sight, it’s crucial that Twitter enables complimentary and also open speech, as long as feasible.
“The bedrock of a working freedom needs to be complimentary speech and also an equal opportunity. That’s why it’s the very first change. It was the very first point they did, like we have actually reached make certain freedom of expression. As well as why did they do that? Due to the fact that where they originated from there had not been freedom of expression, and also when you shed freedom of expression, you do not obtain it back. To ensure that’s why we should secure it in all expenses.”
This has actually been a crucial element of Musk’s wider press at the application, which he’s enhanced with his very own tweets on numerous debatable subjects.
Which after that results in problems around what individuals may in fact state in the application, and also exactly how that might bring about damage and also adverse actions. On this front, Musk additionally laid out Twitter’s progression in resolving hate speech, which Musk claims is currently down 50% from when he took control of at the application.
Some professionals have actually examined Twitter’s metrics on this, and also we don’t have access to exactly what this data means – but based on the key elements that the Twitter 2.0 team is measuring, it is working to address potentially harmful elements, which should lead to an improved user experience.
Of course, letting tens of thousands of previously banned users back on the app seems to work counter to this goal, but again, based on the metrics that Musk and his team are tracking, it’s seemingly seeing improvement.
The same can also be said for child exploitation content.
Musk has repeatedly claimed, as this graph shows, that Twitter is doing more to address CSE content than Twitter has ever done in the past. Experts have refuted these figures as well, but Twitter is seemingly, by at least some measures, taking more action to address this element, which Musk says will always be priority number one at the app.
Though larger changes remain problematic. As we saw earlier this week, Twitter does seem to be becoming increasingly unstable, leading to larger outages and impacts, likely due to reduced oversight as a result of staff cuts.
Musk admitted that this is a problem, noting that the current code base is prone to failure when making even the slightest change.
But still, even with increased error rates, Musk says that Twitter usage is at an all-time high, with more than 250 million daily active users.
It’s worth noting that this chart measures up to Q4, and reports have suggested that Twitter usage has declined significantly since then. But even so, Twitter’s popularity has increased under Musk – not to the levels that Musk would obviously like (in regards to that billion-user target), but it is on track to see improvement, if it can get all of its elements into line.
On that front, Musk briefly discussed his plans to improve Twitter’s ad relevance, and drive better performance through various targeting measures.
Some of this revolved around simple measures, like keyword targeting, which Twitter has previously moved away from due to reduced advertiser performance. Elon is now looking to implement more direct targeting options like this, with advertisers able to highlight their content within related discussions in the app.
Finally, Musk discussed his longer-term vision for Twitter, and making it into the ‘everything app’, which mostly revolves around integrating payments.
“I think it’s possible to create a very powerful finance experience. Basically, PayPal is kind of like a halfway version of what I think could be done in payments and finance. So, let’s say you want to be able to send money easily from one account on Twitter to another account effortlessly, with one click, you want to be able to earn interest on that money, you want to be able to have debt, so you can let your interest can go negative. Basically, I think it’s possible to become the biggest financial institution in the world, just by providing people with convenient payment options. We do not have the time to go into it in detail here, however if we just make the app more and more useful, people will use it more and it’ll be great.”
The vision is that, eventually, by enabling payments via tweet, Twitter will be able to facilitate more types of transactions, which will make it a more useful app, for all different purposes, similar to how Chinese messaging apps like WeChat have become essential utilities in that region.
Of course, Meta’s also trying to facilitate the same thing, and just recently got approval to expand WhatsApp payments usage in Brazil, while it’s also gaining traction with WhatsApp payments in India, likely the key market for such a shift.
But success in this area will not come easy, especially amid ongoing regulatory scrutiny, and given Musk’s defiant attitude to other regulatory groups, like the SEC, it’s hard to see Twitter ever gaining the approval required to facilitate such.
Still, that’s the longer-term vision, that Twitter will become a key source of truth in journalism, and a key utility in facilitating more types of payments, which will then make it a critical app for many more people. It’s an optimistic strategy, which requires many things to go right, but Musk says that, after massive cost-cutting, the app is, possibly, on track to be cash positive by the end of this year.
That, at the least, gives him firmer footing to build from, and maybe, Elon’s vision is beyond what others can yet see for the application.
You can check out Elon’s full presentation to the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference right here.