Twitter has been subsumed by billionaire Elon Musk in more ways than one. Now, however, the company itself is officially no longer its own entity, having been officially gobbled up by Musk’s X Corp. It stands as the blue bird app owner’s first official move to reinvent Twitter into a twisted version of its former self, though still keeping past baggage along for the ride.
Of course, neither Musk nor Twitter has made this clear. The news actually stems from far right anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist and failed congressional candidate Laura Loomer. She previously sued Twitter and its former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey alongside Mark Zuckerberg and Meta for kicking her account off their platforms. According to an April 4 court filing in that ongoing suit, Twitter, Inc. “has been merged into X Corp. and no longer exists.” Loomer tweeted about the change Monday.
X Corp is further owned by holding company X Holdings Corp. According to another ongoing lawsuit against the company filed by two Florida attorneys who were also banned on Twitter, X Corp is incorporated in Nevada and is based in San Francisco, California.
On Tuesday, Musk tweeted “X” as if to confirm what the court documents officially spell out. Musk’s “X” brand has long been his attempt to create a so-called everything app. In his previous tweets, Musk has said Twitter was “an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” He added that buying the platform accelerates the creation of X by “3 to 5 years, but I could be wrong.’
The billionaire owner of Twitter has talked up WeChat as an example. Last October, after he officially came on as CEO, he told staff during an internal town hall that the China-centric app is “actually a great, great app, but there’s no WeChat movement outside of China. And I think there’s a real opportunity to create that. You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so useful.”
Of course, WeChat is an example of a monopolizing walled garden app that has pushed competition out of China due to its all consuming nature. Tencent, the owner of WeChat, has also been criticized in the west for kowtowing to the Beijing government’s censorship and surveillance apparatus.
In past texts and emails, Musk has described his goal for a “blockchain social media system that does both payments and short text messages/links like Twitter.” Users would have to pay to register a message on the blockchain. This would also include a massive database for all messages sent to the blockchain, and a “Twitter-like app” to access that cloud-based database.
What would an “X” app look like? Based on Musk’s inclinations as of late, it would be a heavily monetized, closed environment where users are expected to stay engaged at all times. Not only is there the expanded Twitter Blue and paid-for verification, but Musk has tried to force bot makers to pay for access to Twitter’s API. The blue bird owner has reportedly considered auctioning off usernames. At one point, the self-proclaimed “chief twit” even suggested that only those users who paid for Twitter Blue would appear in users’ “For you” feed. After users protested, he quickly rolled back those plans.
And let’s not forget who he wants to be happy using his platform. Loomer’s lawsuit is ongoing despite Musk having reinstated her account. Musk has given access back to many far-right figures and even some literal nazis. In any case, it may take a while for the platform to reach the heights of “X” whatever it shapes out to be. Musk recently told employees the company was valued at just $20 billion, less than half the $44 billion Musk bought it for last year.
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