How Elon Musk plans to use Twitter for creating an 'everything app'
Elon Musk’s full 360 on the decision to buy Twitter includes a plan to parlay the platform into an “everything app” tentatively called X.
Elon Musk has had a change of heart and decided to buy Twitter after all. This time, however, there’s one major plot twist: a plan to use Twitter as a means to launch a nebulous “everything app” called “X.”
Musk is scheduled to see Twitter in court on October 17 after trying to back out of buying the social media company for $44 billion — the legal battle has centered on the debate of how many spam bots were on the platform. Musk has since changed his mind, and is now expected to go through with the deal, potentially evolving Twitter into something new.
What is X?
Right now, X isn’t much. To understand what X is or will be, we have to go back to when Musk wasn’t the richest person in the world. For a bit of context, X.com was an online bank that Musk co-founded that was later merged with another software company to become PayPal. Musk actually reacquired X.com in 2017 for “sentimental” reasons.
X can also refer to a pair of holding companies mentioned in the letter that Musk’s lawyer sent to Twitter. X Holdings I, Inc. and X Holdings II, Inc., along with Musk, were identified as the buying parties in the letter and are thought to likely absorb Twitter once the acquisition goes through.
Most recently, X is the name of Musk’s purported “everything app.” We don’t really have a solid idea of what that app looks like, since Musk hasn’t revealed any specifics yet, and only that cryptic Tweet.
X, as an app, would be the most reasonable connection to Twitter. Musk did follow up on his original Tweet that Twitter would probably accelerate X by three to five years, responding to another Twitter user asking why he didn’t just make X from scratch. However, Musk did also note that he “could be wrong.”
If X does become a thing, Twitter will likely be the foundation for the social media aspect of Musk’s “everything app,” whatever form it may take.
What is an everything app?
The closest example to an everything app we have is WeChat. Popular in China, this app is a one-stop shop for most reasons that people use smartphones. You can message people; you can access a social media network; you can make transactions. It’s basically Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, Venmo, all rolled into one.
WeChat hasn’t really made waves stateside and Americans still don’t really have a WeChat equivalent, since all the apps mentioned above are at least somewhat segmented. So what would an everything app even look like in the U.S.? Depending on the scope, the X app could certainly be more convenient, but it also carries the risk of having more personal data under one company’s umbrella.
Why it matters
Whatever X turns out to be, it will likely be a huge deal. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter already carries heavy implications, potentially changing what social media could be. It’s hard to say for sure whether the move spells the end of Twitter as we know it — which wouldn’t be the worst thing — or whether it could jumpstart Twitter into being a new robust app.
Musk’s ambitions have swung the doors wide open. Now, we wait for the Twitter acquisition to officially go through, which could be as early as Friday. After that, it’s anyone’s guess how Musk will deliver his grandiose vision of the next big app.