So far, Elon Musk has only talked about his desire to remove “censorship” from Twitter and try to decrease the platform’s reliance on ads in favor of selling services to customers. But it seems his ambitions are much higher, his long-term plan being to turn Twitter into something called “X”, an app that does everything. It seems the billionaire’s inspiration came from WeChat, the Chinese app.
Though he claims to be “anti-censorship,” Elon Musk wants to turn Twitter into an app that controls all of its users’ online activity
In his first meeting with the Twitter team, during which he gave a speech, Elon Musk went into some detail about his ambitions in the social networking area. What Musk calls “X” would be the West’s universal app, a direct competitor to WeChat, which hasn’t caught on with audiences outside China. That’s probably also because the features available in WeChat are dedicated to the Chinese market, and the app is only available outside the country to allow foreigners to connect with people in China.
“[…]I’m thinking of WeChat in China, great app, but there is no WeChat movement outside of China. I think there’s a real opportunity to create that. You basically live on WeChat in China, because it’s very useful and helps you in your daily life. I think if we can make that happen, or just get close to it with Twitter, it will be a huge success,” Elon Musk said in a discussion with Twitter employees.
But WeChat isn’t just a social networking app. You can pay bills, shop online, or read the news. But it’s all tightly controlled by Tencent, the giant behind the app. So a Western “super app” on the same model could lay the groundwork for a new monopoly on users’ online activity and pave the way for more censorship, which is exactly what Musk originally wanted to stop by buying Twitter.