Elon Musk's plan to turn Twitter into a super app is a step closer now that he owns the platform

Elon Musk's plan to turn Twitter into a super app is a step closer now that he owns the platform
According to Musk, the Twitter acquisition can play a part in the creation of a super app called X.Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk is now the owner of Twitter after closing a $44 billion deal to buy the company.
  • According to Musk, the Twitter acquisition will play a part in the creation of a super app called X.

Elon Musk has finally closed his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, leaving employees and users wondering what he plans to do with the social-media platform.

Although reports vary about Musk's full intentions, the billionaire has made repeated claims that the acquisition would play a part in the creation of a super app, or what he has also referred to as an "everything app."

He plans for the app to be named X, as discussed in a tweet earlier this month, which said: "Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app."

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X wouldn't be the first app trying to cover a bit of everything. In fact, Musk indicated in May that he might look for inspiration from Tencent's WeChat, a Chinese social-media juggernaut that's one of the world's biggest super apps.

WeChat acts as an all-encompassing service, which provides video chatting, games, photo sharing, ride sharing, food delivery, banking, and shopping, among other things.


Super apps of this kind have yet to catch on in the US but Musk has hinted that he may be planning to create the first one.

Earlier this month, Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, told Insider's Grace Kay that gutting Twitter to build a super app in its place wouldn't make sense, however. Instead, he suggested the platform could become a "mini-app" within Musk's larger network.

Navarra added that companies were unlikely to want to advertise next to posts that could be labeled as unsavory, but noted it could be a good move for Twitter to diversify its revenue sources.

A WeChat rival?

Musk envisions his app as being similar to China's WeChat, which incorporates multiple features such as messaging, financial payments, and food delivery to keep users engaged and returning throughout the day.

Back in June of this year, Musk made reference to WeChat during an all-hands meeting with Twitter employees.


He told employees that there was "no WeChat equivalent outside of China" and there was a real opportunity to create that with Twitter.

He said: "You basically live on WeChat in China because it's so helpful, so useful to daily life. I think if we achieve that or come even close to that with Twitter, that would be a success."

WeChat has more than 1 billion daily active users and roughly 3,000 people working for the app, a person with knowledge of WeChat's business told Insider earlier this month.

If Musk plans to create his everything app with Twitter it will mean bringing in many new features. In May, Musk described WeChat as "Twitter, plus PayPal, plus a whole bunch of things, and all rolled into one, with a great interface."

'Grand vision'

Musk has stated that the Twitter acquisition may speed up the creation of his super app by three to five years.


In August, Musk teased X.com, a domain name he bought back in 2017, as a potential competitor to Twitter.

At Tesla's annual shareholder meeting in the same month, Musk told shareholders that he had a "grander vision for what I thought X Corporation could have been back in the day."

"It's a pretty grand vision and of course, that could be started from scratch but I think Twitter would accelerate that by three to five years," he said. In October, Musk followed up with a more cautious tweet, saying: "Twitter probably accelerates X by 3 to 5 years, but I could be wrong."

Fintech executive Larry Lee, who serves as Rapyd's global head of financial networks, said at a conference on Tuesday that Elon Musk was the "best chance" the US had to create a super app from scratch, Insider reported.