It’s official ! After hours of negotiations, Twitter announced on Monday April 25 that it had accepted the takeover offer from Elon Musk , boss of Tesla and SpaceX. Thus, the businessman gets his hands on Twitter for around 44 billion dollars (54.20 dollars per share).
But this is not a simple takeover, the billionaire intends to move the lines on the platform. In the press release , Elon Musk reveals his ambitions: “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by improving the product with new features, making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spambots and authenticating all humans. Twitter has enormous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the user community to unlock it”.
1. More flexible moderation rules
Elon Musk is known for his libertarian beliefs. In the press release dedicated to the takeover of Twitter, he states: “Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital public square where issues vital to the future of the humanity. »
The billionaire finds that moderation rules on Twitter are too strict. During the TED2022 conference last April, he said that Twitter should not regulate content beyond what is required by the laws of the countries in which it is present. He also considers that the permanent banning of certain users is not a solution (a reference to Donald Trump?). Thus, if we follow the history of Elon Musk’s statements, new, more flexible rules could emerge in terms of moderation.
2. New options like an edit button for tweets
The businessman also wants to bring new features to the platform, including the long-awaited edit button that would allow you to correct your tweets after publication. In April 2022, via a tweet , Elon Musk notably asked his community to find out if they wanted to get this edit button: nearly 74% answered “yes”. Following this survey, Twitter had also announced that it was starting to work on an option to modify its tweets .
Another change: he may also allow longer tweets in the future if his April 15 comment posted on a long Twitter thread is to be believed. As a reminder, the current limit for a tweet is 280 characters.
3. An open source algorithm for more transparency
What would be the impact of an open source algorithm on the platform? This would make publicly available the math that determines what appears on a user’s Twitter feed. Elon Musk’s goal is to “increase the confidence” of users, allowing them to better understand the content suggestions submitted to them. Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter, said in a tweet supporting Elon Musk’s position on this subject.
4. Fewer spam bots
Elon Musk also reiterates his desire to fight against “spam bots”, referring to automated accounts that are designed for malicious purposes. A few days ago, the boss of Tesla published the following tweet : “If our Twitter auction succeeds, we will defeat the spambots or die trying! “ , he also added: “And authenticate all real humans” .
5. An exit from the Stock Exchange for Twitter
The founder of SpaceX could well take Twitter out of the stock market soon, by transforming it into a “private company”. In a letter to the social network’s board of directors dated April 14, he explains that Twitter “will not prosper or fulfill its societal mission (of freedom of expression) in its current form. The exit from the Twitter Stock Exchange could in particular allow it to make changes more easily to the operation of the platform.
6. A change of CEO
Who will run Twitter now? The current CEO is Parag Agrawal , he succeeded Jack Dorsey, following his resignation in November 2021. But there is no guarantee that he will remain at the head of the platform. Parag Agrawal is quoted in the takeover press release, but without any mention of his future. With this turn, there could well be changes in the Twitter teams. Case to follow!