“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” Twitter CEO Elon Musk said last October, just weeks before assuming control of the platform.
In tweets, Musk mused that he “could be wrong,” but he expected that his purchase of Twitter would provide the infrastructure to launch his own super app within the next three to five years. Whether Twitter would become an arm of X or vice versa, Musk planned to leverage Twitter’s millions of daily active US users to launch an irresistibly convenient platform where Americans could go to text, call, pay, shop, bank, and post online.
To some experts, what Musk suggested sounds too ambitious—or even impossible. United States regulators have begun more carefully scrutinizing both antitrust concerns at tech companies and rapid tech developments in the financial industry. More oversight in these sectors has made it increasingly difficult for Big Tech companies to attempt to launch their own super apps as they chase the success of China’s widely used WeChat. But as Musk told an audience at the Baron Investment Conference last year, he has been dreaming about creating an app that reimagines the digital payments industry since 2000—more than a decade before WeChat launched—and he said that buying Twitter was his first step toward rapidly realizing that dream.