veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

The Impending Future of ‘X’

Elon Musk’s plan to create the ultimate “Everything App”

Since Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, many changes have been made to the site and its infrastructure. Large-scale layoffs and Blue Checkmark memberships have altered what most frequent users consider normal. With the elimination of workers to moderate and uphold standards to protect users, as well as the shameless monetization of a system that once had a practical use to distinguish real and fake accounts, Twitter has become a platform where interaction is limited by the amount of money invested in it and where conversation between individuals is unbridled and unsafe. While these present changes raise concerns, it is not the end of Musk’s plans for the site. Musk is currently pushing for a complete transformation of Twitter, which is only the first step in bringing Twitter to what he believes is its fullest potential.

Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams, and Noah Glass in 2006. It was initially made to send short and instant messages to the world. Its simple concept has grown into a leading social media site, becoming a staple for companies, consumers, and influencers to interact. With 330 million active users in 2019, the site has become a center for connecting people and an increasingly valuable resource. So when Musk bought all of Twitter’s stock, owning the entire company, many were apprehensive about his plans for the platform. 

 In Musk’s mind, Twitter would not make sense in its current state to become an “everything app.” Through his acquisition and apparent name change, he hopes to use the already giant Twitter user base to create an app that fulfills all your needs in the digital world. An official statement posted by Musk on Twitter in July expressed that the rebranding would only be the start of many structural changes to the company and its features moving forward.

“Twitter was acquired by X Corp both to ensure freedom of speech and as an accelerant for X, the everything app. This is not simply a company renaming itself, but doing the same thing,” Musk wrote on Twitter. 

The transition from Twitter to X was not just an aesthetic change but the defining of a new era. 

One of the main selling points of X is plans to implement features to encourage commerce on the site. With his history as a founder of an American online bank he creatively named “X.com” before it merged with Paypal, this direction seems promising.

“In the months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

This is more than adding a marketplace section on the app like Meta; Musk wants to provide users with debit cards, loan services, and more. Musk has made it evident that this is an action to not just bring the original X.com from the dead but to usurp the company it merged with. It all starts with unearthing the roadmap he made for PayPal decades ago.

“The X/PayPal product roadmap was written by myself and David Sacks actually in July of 2000, and for some reason, PayPal, once it became eBay, not only did they not implement the rest of the list, but they actually rolled back a bunch of key features, which is crazy,” Musk said in an internal X call in October of 2023.

In addition to this adaptation, Musk plans to bring together multiple mediums of communication to the site to increase retention on the app. This adaptation is already seen through new tabs like “lists” and “communities” that mimic forums and Reddit pages. But now Musk is planning to roll out video and audio calling.

“Musk has long hinted at adding audio and video calls to the platform as part of his goals to make it the “everything app.” The Verge reported. Musk recently said the feature would be available on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC, with “no phone number needed,” 

 The expansion of communication features is all an effort to create a more extensive active user base and, more importantly, new users willing to pay the subscription. It has yet to be confirmed whether this feature will be under the subscription, but many features that extend outside of the original Twitter structure are all under the paywall. It may be another incentive for users to buy the Blue Checkmark subscription, which gives users a more prominent character count on their posts, longer videos and a more significant number of posts to look at, and the ability to edit posts. Sites like YouTube have unlimited hours of video-watching time, and most sites have unlimited access to posts, so why would the average consumer feel the need to pay for that on X? 

While all these changes could create an everything app, the defining factor for this to work would be an audience that would use it. With many of these features being under a paywall already provided for free on the devices they use to access the site, it seems unlikely that X will become the powerhouse that Musk intended. Even with criticisms like these, Musk plans to roll out the banking feature by the end of 2024, with other features following in the coming months. Only time will tell if X will reach its expectations or fall in the name of larger profit margins.

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Sophia Mannino, Senior Staff Writer
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