Sahail Ashraf posted on 14 June 2023
Elon Musk has even more in store for Twitter. The ‘everything app’ he’s been trying to set up for years may be closer than we think.
Recent events at Twitter have caused many industry watchers to make what seems like an obvious conclusion. Twitter is going to be changed beyond recognition, or even removed.
Well, being removed may be a little too much doom-saying, but Elon Musk is very fond of his ‘big idea’. That idea centres around a huge online platform that has multiple elements, from social media to shopping, to dating apps. Yes, Elon wants to create the ‘everything app’. You may have heard about this before, but the difference is that it may happen sooner than you think. His plans seem to be moving forward at a pace.
Recently, Musk has been referring to ‘X’ a lot. He’s been talking about it and tweeting about it. It seems like he is expecting X to be a reality pretty soon. He’s mentioned it a few times before but he has really begun to make it a focus of his dealings with the media. How serious is he? Well, he’s actually started referring to his company as ‘X slash Twitter’. Note how the new identity comes before the current one.
The ‘everything app’ is meant to contain a social media element, as well as a shopping element, and other ideas like a dating platform. It has even been floated that the app will contain a job search/listings feature. It sounds a bit like he is trying to take over the world.
But there is a precedent.
WeChat is a huge messenger app in China. Actually, it’s a bit more than a messenger app, in that users now rely on it to manage much of their lives. In fact, WeChat is often referred to as a ‘super app’.
It offers a variety of messaging options, including group messaging. It also allows for mobile payments, gaming as well as shopping and a number of other features. Chinese users have come to rely upon the app. You can book a taxi and manage your banking, before buying cinema tickets for the evening, all in one app. The ‘one app’ concept is vital to the success of WeChat. It keeps users in one place by streamlining a lot of their daily life. So far, there has been nothing like WeChat in the Western world.
If we take a look at Meta, and note how it used to be Facebook, we can get an understanding of what Musk might be trying to achieve. Meta became Meta because Mark Zuckerberg had two things in mind. Firstly, he wanted to carry out a little reputation management after a difficult few years for Facebook. Secondly, he wanted to show the world that he had a brand that would offer more than just social media and messaging. Meta has not created an ‘everything app’, but it’s clear that it would like to.
Enter Elon Musk, and his plans for what is currently known as Twitter.
When Musk acquired Twitter it soon became clear that he wanted to make it his own. He changed a number of elements on the platform, and fired a lot of staff. He clearly likes using Twitter, but as the owner he wanted to make it his own platform.
It seems highly unlikely that Musk will want to get rid of Twitter. It has created billions of dollars in revenue over the years, and still has some very loyal users. It’s also a very strong brand. But that doesn’t mean that Musk will avoid bringing it into the ‘X’ fold. He’ll most likely want to make sure it is included as part of the X suite of tools. It works well, and could easily be the thing that helps X gain momentum. It just might not be called Twitter anymore.
For marketers, it’s important to watch Musk and note how he is crafting this new experience. Whatever happens to Twitter (and with Musk, anything can happen), marketers will need to be able to seamlessly embrace the ‘everything app’, and make sure their strategy fits the new world Musk is creating.
What that looks like for marketers, no one knows. But perhaps we all need to shift our mindset to one that sees social media being part of something much bigger.
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