Twitter has finally struck a deal with Elon Musk after he’s been begging to buy the social media platform to make it a safe place for unbridled freedom of speech.
According to an announcement from Twitter on Monday, Musk will pay around $44 billion USD or $54.20 a share to gain full ownership of the platform and make Twitter a private company.
The announcement was made two weeks after the billionaire offered to buy Twitter, saying that he hopes to unlock Twitter’s potential by loosening restrictions on free speech.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said.
Effectively, this could quite literally break the internet. Suddenly a man with immense wealth, intelligence and pursuit of free speech is at the helm of the world’s microphone. All we can do is speculate and discuss, though many will have their passionate opinions for and against it.
Despite Musk stressing that the innate fundamentals of Twitter will remain the same, many are nervous about his new influence. Brent Leary of CRM Essentials said to TechCrunch: “How active could he be in using his new ‘toy’ in helping people he wants to see in office get their messages out, as well as how he may hamper/cripple/ban competitors from using the platform?
With that said, it’s feared Musk will use the platform as merely his social media playground. Though I find it hard to believe a man, no matter his means, purchases something for $44 billion just to troll people.
Another way to look at it is he’ll be coming back to what he knows: software and technology. A field it’s fair to say he has legitimate experience in. Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, told TechCrunch: “I think it will be key for making sure Twitter operates independently, and that he is ‘only’ improving the offering.”
Mueller goes on to describe the changes he sees happening with Musk at the helm: “I think we will see a number of software innovations including an edit button, maybe threaded conversations and better business with moderation, audience management.”
Though, no matter who says what, Musk owning Twitter is sure to change a lot for the platform and communication in general. Let the memes begin!