Some experts believe Musk could mold Twitter in the image of WeChat

Some experts believe Musk could mold Twitter in the image of WeChat
Now that Elon Musk has changed his mind, the richest man in the world is looking to close his purchase of Twitter for his original offer price of $44 billion or $54.20 a share. Originally, Musk wanted Twitter to prove that no more than 5% of its subscribers were bots and threatened to back out if they would not do this. ABC News spoke with some experts recently to discuss what changes to the social media platform Musk might make once he has completed the transaction.

If Musk buys Twitter, the platform could be unrecognizable in the long term

There are two ways of looking at the changes we could see made. In the short and intermediate term, Musk could institute some changes that some will like and that others will hate. In the long term, ABC News says that the experts believe that Twitter could be unrecognizable with subscription fees charged to users. New services will be available including one that would allow for the transfer of payments between subscribers, and another service that would allow Twitter members to make travel reservations via the platform.

Musk has made comments that some believe reveal his intention to turn Twitter into another WeChat app. WeChat is extremely popular in China thanks to its ability to act as a messaging app, a platform where users can share media and make payments, and an app where users can purchase products and make reservations. During the fourth quarter of 2021, the app had 1.27 billion monthly active users. 

While Twitter currently bans hate speech, harassment, and graphic violence, Musk said back in May that "My preference is to hew close to the laws of countries in which Twitter operates. If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed." Motley Fool senior analyst Bill Mann says, "There are some big changes that would be in the offing," Bill Mann, a senior analyst at Motley Fool, told ABC News. "He wants to reduce their content moderation."

Talking about turning Twitter into an app that is everything for everybody, Motley Fool's Mann says, "You could understand why any company would want this." He calls Musk's plan to allow person-to-person payments on Twitter, "the holy grail for any app." Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives sees only a 20% chance that Musk can succeed in making Twitter a one-size fits all platform.

Ives says, "That will take years and a lot of challenges ahead. Then again, there's a reason he's the richest person in the world. His back has been against the wall again and again, and he's massively succeeded, as we see with Tesla and SpaceX."

Musk might want freedom of speech for Twitter, but not at the expense of ad revenue

Musk's closing of the transaction could bring more conservative voices to Twitter, says Sinan Aral, a venture capitalist, and professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Aral says that former President Donald Trump  would be "reinstated almost immediately." After getting kicked off Twitter following the January 6th attack on the Capitol in 2021, Trump created his own Twitter-like platform called Truth Social which has not generated as much traffic as Trump had hoped.

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Earlier this year Musk originally stated that if he purchased Twitter, Trump would be welcomed back. At that time, the former president said that he would not return to the platform if it were owned by Musk. But considering that Musk wants to start pumping up Twitter's advertising revenue, the Tesla CEO might want to reconsider who he allows to return to the platform since ad revenue would be based on subscriber count and the return of some users known to generate hateful comments might result in a decline in the number of Twitter subscribers.

As Wedbush analyst Ives puts it, "Musk says 'freedom of speech' but if it becomes a cesspool on Twitter, that goes against the monetization of the platform." After all, Musk is buying Twitter because he thinks that he can make it better which means more profits. If he suspects that his game plan is going awry, adjustments will have to be made.

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