Posted Oct 27, 2022, 4:46 PMUpdated on Oct 27, 2022 at 7:33 PM
“Happy ending” or beginning of the end of the current Twitter? After months of twists and turns, the soap opera is now almost finished. Thursday evening, via a tweet, Elon Musk formalized the takeover of the platform, in a message to advertisers. Barring yet another last-minute twist by Friday (the deadline set by American justice to complete the operation), the social network will therefore come under the control of the richest man in the world for some 44 billion dollars. .
In this message of a few lines, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX affirms to buy the social network because it is “important for the future of civilization to have a public place online where a wide variety of opinions can debate in a way healthy, without resorting to violence”.
Do not scare advertising
“That said, Twitter obviously cannot be a hellish place open to everyone, where anything can be said without consequence,” he wrote again. By describing himself as a “free speech absolutist”, the billionaire had frightened both inside and outside Twitter.
“Advertisers want to spend their money in environments that are safe for their brand. If they consider Twitter unsafe, they can choose to spend their money elsewhere,” says Jasmine Enberg, analyst at eMarketers. Which would be catastrophic for the platform, which derives around 90% of its revenue from online advertising. It would seem that Elon Musk has become aware of the threat and is seeking to defuse the situation.
The banks would have released the funds
The outcome of the takeover was hardly in doubt in recent hours. According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk made a commitment a few days ago, in front of the bankers who are financing the “deal”, to conclude the acquisition of the bird group this weekend. The banks, which finance 13 billion euros of debt, had even begun to release the funds, according to the “Wall Street Journal”. And the New York Stock Exchange had warned that the action would be suspended on Friday.
Investors believe in any case in this operation, worthy of a Hollywood saga: the price of Twitter was at 53.96 dollars Thursday in the middle of the session on Wall Street (+ 1%), not far from 54.20 dollars per share offered by Elon Musk.
The billionaire didn’t have much time either. After his reversal in July, when the billionaire had decided not to buy Twitter, then his new about-face in early October to acquire it in the face of the threat of costly lawsuits, justice had given the deadline of October 28 to conclude the deal. Failing an agreement, the trial would take place in November.
Arrival with a sink
In any case, Elon Musk was already playing with his new title of “boss of Twitter”. “Chief Twit,” reads his bio on his Twitter account. On Wednesday, the whimsical billionaire also went to Twitter headquarters with a… sink.
He posted a short video on the social network, to make a pun with “sink” which means both “sink” and “absorb information”. We see him arriving at the premises, laughing, carrying a sink at arm’s length, dressed in a black T-shirt (“I’m going to Twitter headquarters, I’ll let you absorb the information,” he says).
The big question now concerns employees. Blowing hot and cold on American society, Elon Musk would have recently assured employees that he had no intention of laying off 75% of the workforce, according to the Bloomberg agency, denying information from the American press. a few days ago.
But specialists still expect them to reduce the workforce. Twitter currently has 7,500 employees. Faced with so much uncertainty, “employees are not motivated, they feel discouraged,” remarks Jasmine Enberg. “There are people who want to work for Musk, but it could be difficult for him to recruit after months of criticizing Twitter. Elon Musk is scheduled to speak to Twitter employees this Friday, according to Bloomberg.
The billionaire has cast doubt on his real intentions for the platform. A few months ago, he said he wanted to build a universal application, dubbed “X”. The latter could be inspired by WeChat, the Chinese application which allows you to exchange with your friends, but also to order goods and services. According to the American press, he promised investors to double income in three years.
What seems certain is that he should relax the group’s moderation policy, as he hints in his Twitter post. Some expect the return to the platform of Donald Trump, excluded from several networks since the attack on the Capitol.