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What we know about Musk's plans for Twitter so far

What we know about Musk's plans for Twitter so far
Photo Credit: Pixabay
9 May, 2022
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Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, has been creating a buzz ever since he snapped up Twitter for a whopping $44 billion last month. Since then, he has suggested a number of measures to revitalise the platform and increasing its revenue. Now, Musk has reportedly shared a more detailed plan to ‘improve’ Twitter in the coming years. 

The list includes increasing the company’s revenue by manifolds, escalating user base, hiring more employees and giving a significant push to the crypto community. Here’s a glimpse of Musk's financial goals for Twitter in the years ahead. 

Increase revenue from current $5 billion to $26.4 billion by 2028   

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The tech billionaire claimed to increase Twitter’s annual revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year. Of that, advertising would generate $12 billion in revenue and subscriptions nearly $10 billion, he said to a pitch deck viewed by the New York Times.  

Most of that growth will come from Twitter’s ad-supported business, including Twitter Blue. Launched last year, Twitter Blue is the service’s nearly $3 per month subscription that gives users access to an “undo tweet” button, app customisation, ad-free articles, and other exclusive features.  

Besides, the pitch deck outlines plan for an unnamed subscription service called “X”, which Musk expects to bring in nine million subscribers in 2023 and 104 million by 2028. The document did not detail what X Subscribers was, but Musk has hinted at introducing an ad-free experience on Twitter.   

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It can be assumed that revenue from “X” and Blue combined is supposed to hit the $10 billion mark by 2028, making up a large fraction of the $26.4 billion in total revenue that same year.  

Over 931 million users by 2028  

Musk anticipates Twitter’s total number of users will grow from 217 million at the end of last year to nearly 600 million in 2025 and 931 million by 2028. One way to gain customers is by driving up Twitter Blue subscribers to 69 million by 2025 and more than doubling that number to 159 million by 2028. The subscription service “X” will also reportedly bring in nine million subscribers in 2023 and 104 million by 2028, according to the pitch deck. 

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$1.3 billion from a payments business   

Twitter would bring in $15 million from a payments business in 2023, the document said. This would grow to about $1.3 billion by 2028. The company’s payments business today, which includes tipping and shopping, is almost negligible. There has been speculation that Musk may introduce payment abilities to Twitter given that he helped in driving digital payments service, PayPal. 

A rise in Twitter's average revenue per user 

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Musk anticipates he can increase Twitter’s average revenue per user (ARPU) to $30.22 in 2028 from $24.83 last year. ARPU is a ratio of revenue to paying users and is important because it tells you how much money you are making and evaluates which channels are delivering valuable customers. 

Twitter on a hiring spree  

By 2025, Twitter will have 11,072 employees. That would be up from around 7,500 today. He however expects the number to fluctuate in between, rising to 9,225 employees in 2022, then declining to 8,332 in 2023 and rising again. It was earlier reported that Musk is likely to shed workers as part of his takeover, before bringing on new talent in engineering.  

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A significant push on crypto-related services  

Crypto companies, including exchanges and big venture funds, are joining Elon Musk’s bid to buy social media platform Twitter, in a significant push on crypto-related services. Musk has been a vocal supporter of cryptocurrencies, including meme-based currencies like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. According to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Musk has received financing commitments worth $7.139 billion from crypto exchange Binance and VC funds Sequoia Capital and Andreesen Horowitz, among others, for his acquisition of Twitter. Binance, in fact, is not just backing Musk’s Twitter bid, but also boosting crypto lovers’ vision of a ‘decentralized’ web. It plans to invest $500 million in equity funding toward the Twitter deal.

Other areas of focus  

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Musk had always said, ‘Twitter will always remain free for “casual users” but government and commercial users may see a “slight cost” to stay on the social media platform. Under Musk’s leadership Twitter can also expect an end-to-end encryption direct message (DMs) and an edit button among other things. The billionaire also spoke about cracking down on spam bots and reducing the amount of moderation to facilitate more “free speech”. However, his free speech statement met with a lot of criticism from a section of the society.  

“With Musk, his posturing of free speech — just leave everything up — that would be bad in and of itself,” tweeted Paul Barrett, deputy director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University. “If you stop moderating with automated systems and human reviews, a site like Twitter, in the space of a short period of time, you would have a cesspool,” he said.