After buying Twitter, Elon Musk planed to change several aspects on Twitter. On Monday, April 25, 2022, Twitter accepted a $44 billion acquisition bid by Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. After getting some criticism, Twitter finally accepted the deal offered by Elon Musk.
Why did Twitter finally accept the deal?
Musk announced on April 4 that he holds 9% of the Twitter share, and then he proposed to buy all remaining shares for $54.20 per share on April 13. Twitter’s board of directors did not show interest in Musk’s offer. They even signalled its opposition two days later by introducing a takeover defense measure called the poison pill to make it hard for him to buy more shares.
The poison pill strategy is taking away the right of the shareholders to negotiate a price for selling the shares directly to prevent any takeover bid. In other words, this strategy provides shareholders with the right to buy more shares at a discount if any shareholder wants to purchase a specific percentage of a company’s share.
Although a lot of news is circulating that Twitter is starting to look for other established shareholders other than Musk, but has not found a better offer. Furthermore, on April 21, Musk announced that he had secured $46.5 billion to fund the acquisition, which later pressured Twitter to consider his proposal seriousl. Besides, Twitter earnings have been slowing with a $221 million loss for the end of last year, 2021.
On Monday, April 25, Twitter announced that it had accepted the offer from the Tesla CEO for a $44 billion offer to take the company private. Musk will buy the shares from Twitter shareholders for $54.20/ share in cash. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of 2022. Afterwards, Twitter will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
Nobody knows what Elon Musk has planned to change, and even Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal admits the future is uncertain. However, the world’s richest man has provided some hints.
4 things that Elon Musk plans to change in the Twitter business.
Soften the content moderation rule
Musk’s tweets have not been free from controversy. In late March 2022, Musk posted a pool seeking information on whether his followers believe Twitter protects freedom of speech. The result shows that 70% of his followers vote for ‘no’. Additionally, He argued that Twitter often blocks the opinion of its users.
According to Jeffrey Howard, an associate professor at University College London, if Musk loosens Twitter’s content moderation rules, he could be in a “rude awakening”. Also, criminals and irresponsible parties could easily weaponize Twitter for malicious purposes and to create hatred and violence.
The buyout news has already created a political firestorm in the US. Furthermore, both UK and European commission have reminded Musk to protect the right of Twitter users.
Rely less on advertising.
Musk believes that Twitter should shift to a subscription-based business model. Currently, Twitter generates 90% of its revenue from advertising; but the company has been struggling to attract advertisers to the platform, which eventually turns into a political firestorm. Twitter has started introducing a subscription product called Twitter Blue, which allows users to undo the tweet for a monthly fee of $2.99. Musk said that Twitter should be cheaper and will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
Crackdown on bots and cryptocurrency scams
In 2020, Musk’s Twitter account was hacked to push a bitcoin scam. Musk also criticized Twitter for wasting time on production, such as profile pictures that showcase NFT rather than fighting crypto spambots. Therefore, he suggested cracking down on the scammy bots promoting crypto scams.
Introduce an edit button
The editing option is the most requested feature on Twitter. On April 4, Musk tweeted a pool for an edit button option. 73.6% of his audience voted for “yes”; they want the edit button on Twitter. Unlike other social media like Facebook and Instagram, Twitter currently has no edit option. Musk stated that he supports the function where people can change their tweets, but this idea also brought a debate among academics, journalists, and heavy users of the platform. Experts are concerned that adding an edit button feature will be weaponized by bad actors, who will use it to cover up abuse or harassment as if it never occurred or to dupe or manipulate people.
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