Thursday, June 13, 2024

Elon Musk brainstorms plans for how payments could work on Twitter

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A video grab taken from a video posted on the Twitter account of billionaire Tesla chief Elon Musk on October 26, 2022 shows himself carrying a sink as he enters the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Elon Musk changed his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit” and posted video of himself walking into the social network’s California headquarters carrying a sink, days before his contentious takeover of the company must be finalized.

– | Afp | Getty Images

Elon Musk has plans to make Twitter a place where people can shop for goods and be offered money market accounts, the new CEO of the social media company said.

Musk held a Twitter Spaces audio broadcast on Wednesday intended to assuage the concerns of advertisers, some of which like General Motors and Volkswagen have paused their Twitter ad campaigns since the billionaire took over.

During the broadcast, Musk described how Twitter plans to “enable monetization for creators,” but that it needs to do so in a manner that’s “competitive with the alternatives” to entice them.

“So there’s a kind of no-brainer move,” Musk said.

Musk then segued into how verified users who pay an $8 monthly subscription to Twitter would be able to benefit because now the company will know that these people have been “authenticated by the payment system.”

“Now we can say like, OK, you’ve got a balance on your account, do you want to send money to someone else within Twitter?” Musk said. “And maybe we pre-populate their account with and say, OK, we’re gonna give you 10 bucks, and you can send it anywhere within Twitter.”

If people wanted to “exit out of the system” they would be be able to transfer their Twitter balance if they have attached authenticated bank accounts to their Twitter accounts, he explained.

“Then the next step would be to offer an extremely compelling money market account to get extremely high yield on your balance,”  Musk said.

This could then lead to Twitter adding “debit cards, checks and whatnot,” he said.

It should be noted that Musk was not saying that any of these plans would come to be as it seemed he was brainstorming them on the fly.

Jeanine Turner, a professor in Georgetown University’s communication, culture and technology program, recently told CNBC that Musk will likely need many commerce partners if he wants to imbue Twitter with more financial features.

The Twitter CEO has recently been taking an aggressive stance toward advertisers that are boycotting the company, saying just a few days ago that “a thermonuclear name & shame is exactly what will happen if this continues.”

As Musk sketches out his plans for Twitter, shares in Tesla, where he is also CEO, closed at their lowest point since November 2020. Musk has sold nearly $4 billion worth of shares in his electric car maker in recent days.

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