Yesterday evening, an important news item made headlines in the world media: Elon Mask Musk paid $ 2.89 billion to buy 9.2% of Twitter shares . Now a recurring question is on the minds of the audience again, and everyone wants to know what the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and of course the richest person in the world, is looking for with his recent move. Musk could easily have bought the entire social network if he wanted to, but now he has become the company ‘s largest shareholder and no one knows exactly what he wants to do.
The company’s Twitter is not very profitable and can not be compared to Facebook or Tic Tac Toe. Although the news of the purchase of the mask raised the company’s stock price by 25% , it seems unlikely that money will be the main motivation of the richest person in the world from this transaction. Instead, it can be speculated that Ilan Mask came to the conclusion a little late that he, like many of his peers, should have a role in the world of large media companies.
Elon Mask is finally entering the field of media
The 50-year-old entrepreneur is following in the footsteps of people like Jeff Bezos , who bought the Washington Post a few years ago by investing in Twitter . Patrick Sean-shyung with the Los Angeles Times , Lauren Powell Jobs with the Atlantic , Michael Bloomberg with Bloomberg , and John Henry with the Boston Globe are others who have made media investment important. Billionaires and celebrities usually come to this space before they are fully flourishing, so that they may play a role in directing the flow of content.
Of course, many wealthy people turned to these companies to revive the big media, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. But the purpose of the mask is not to save Twitter. This social network is stable enough and does not need any wealth to restore its power. Ilan Mask is more like someone whose passion for milk that he eats every morning makes him think not only about buying cows, but about the whole herd and ranch. This analogy makes the audience think that Mask is dissatisfied with the censorship of content on Twitter, and therefore decided to buy the company to change the situation. After buying Twitter shares, Tesla’s CEO asked users in a poll whether they wanted the edit button to be added to the platform. This incident made some people think that he is going to play an important role in this social network in the future.
Although Mask is best known for his innovations in tangible and physical products, he has not been a complete stranger to the media world in the past. The founder of SpaceX is a board member of Endeavor Group Holdings, a talent agency and entertainment company led by Eri Emmanuel. Incidentally, Egan Durban is another board member of the company, which invested $ 1 billion in Twitter through Silver Lake two years ago.
The interesting thing about Ilan Musk is that although he loves Twitter immensely, he has not hesitated to comment against this social network. In 2018, Musk tweeted about the launch of a platform called Pravda, saying that the platform is supposed to be a place to rate the reality of the content and track the credibility of journalists over time. But Pravda never materialized. “What should be done, given that Twitter has become the center of public announcements in the world but does not adhere to the fundamental principles of freedom of expression and undermines democracy?” He wrote on his April 26 page. He further asked users if we need a new platform?
However, according to the documents registered with the Stock Exchange and Securities Commission, we now know that Mask had bought Twitter shares on March 14th. Why should he speak out against Twitter after such a huge investment and come up with the idea of building a new social network? Nobody knows. However, positive changes are waiting for Twitter.
Strengthen freedom of expression on Twitter?
The question of how much they censor content has become more and more important as social networks play a more serious role in conveying information and creating an important platform for conversations. This issue has become doubly important since 2016, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and in 2020, in the midst of the US elections. The global epidemic of the Corona virus also fueled the situation, culminating in the Trump supporters’s attack on the Congress building. The attack, which appeared to have sparked Trump’s remarks on social media, blocked his account.
Since then, many have tried to build different social networks focusing on freedom of expression. Parler, Gab and Gettr were among those platforms that did not have much success. Trump’s personal attempt to build the Truth Social network has not been very successful and he has not yet been able to provide good service to users. But if Ilan Mask sticks to his ideas, he can turn Twitter into a freer platform for expression instead of building a new platform.
Of course, the stock he bought from Twitter is a passive investment . This means that under US securities law, Mask cannot have control over the company, but who knows what he will do in the future and what can prevent Mask from actively investing in the company. On the other hand, the richest person in the world can now more easily comment on Twitter and even communicate with company executives. If he believes that the policies of this social network will be an obstacle to his use of his popular platform, he will probably take steps to solve this problem.
Regulatory documents show that Mask is investing in the company with a long-term view , which minimizes the possibility of selling Twitter shares in the near future. Therefore, it is unlikely that the CEO of SpaceX has any purpose in this purchase. He will definitely have other long-term plans in addition to his trip to Mars, and Twitter will play an important role in these plans.
It should be noted that according to the rules of the Stock Exchange and Securities Commission, major buyers of companies’ shares must report their performance report to this commission within 10 days after the purchase. Mask made the investment on March 14th, but registered his documents 11 days after the tweet on freedom of expression on Twitter, on April 6th . Therefore, in this regard, he may face problems in the future and face fines.
Investing in a mature company
The richest person in the world has not easily won this title. He found new and talented companies on time and correctly, or he started to create companies that were successful. Mask had never invested in a mature company before. He has previously founded People , SpaceX , Noralink and Boring Company . Although the Tesla website claims that the mask was made by the company, this claim is not true. He was not the founder of Tesla , but he invested in the company in its infancy and was an influential figure in the company’s success.
Ilan Mask happened to get a lot of help from Twitter to shape Tesla’s story using his large audience. He used the rostrum to support the company, even in times of crisis, when the company’s stock was about to collapse. His account is now one of the most popular Twitter accounts with more than 80 million followers , and he frequently publishes posts about Tesla or SpaceX products to his audience. Of course, some of these posts, which have affected Tesla’s stock price, have been troublesome for Mask and have placed restrictions on him. The US Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018 asked him to submit the tweets that may affect Tesla shares before the company’s lawyer approves. Mask is now calling for these restrictions to be lifted .
The CEO of SpaceX, who has now seen the failure of many new social networks, including the Donald Trump social network, has probably taken a new approach to addressing one of his main concerns. Instead of starting a new company or helping a start-up, he has decided to invest in a platform that has found its way but is not large enough to be influenced.
He wants to secure his big podium and change it the way he wants by buying Twitter shares and possible future investments in the company. Maybe he fears that with the change of Twitter CEO, the conditions for him to continue his activity in this social network will become more difficult and he will lose this platform one day. Musk knows that Twitter and the large audience he has gathered in this service have been one of the main factors in the popularity and, of course, the success of his companies.
Of course, Ilan Mask is not the first face in the world of technology to go to Twitter. Earlier, Mark Benioff of Salesforce wanted to buy Twitter for $ 20 billion in 2016 , but his colleagues and friends turned him down. The next important point is that unlike Mask investing in Bitcoin through Tesla, this time he personally invested in Twitter and Tesla is not involved.
Will Twitter be a platform for promoting cryptocurrencies?
This social network has long been a platform for launching bitcoins and many cryptocurrencies. Ilan Mask has also used his personal page many times to talk about Bitcoin and Dodge Coin . Tesla had previously made it possible to accept bitcoins to buy cars, but did not do so due to environmental issues. The company now owns bitcoin but has kept it as an investment. Given the scale of Twitter and the way the company uses software to connect with remote users, Tesla’s CEO can use the platform as a platform to promote a decentralized , government-independent currency.
On the other hand, we should not forget that Twitter also had connections with the world of cryptocurrencies, at least during the time of CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey founded Square a few years ago , now known as Block , and specializes in financial services. The company has a special focus on blockchain technology and, according to its founder, is looking for decentralized services.
It is difficult to predict the future
Although many speculations can be made about Ilan Mask’s decision to buy this large volume of Twitter shares, but all these analyzes only express the author’s point of view and no one really knows what is going on inside the mind of this controversial figure. It is not at all unlikely that he deliberately did something to distract part of the public mind and actually have another goal in mind.
On the other hand, Mask’s statements on Twitter are not very reliable. Let’s not forget that he recently called on “Vladimir Putin” and his bear to fight hand to hand to solve the problem of Ukraine and said that he was even willing not to use one hand. He had previously admitted in a tweet in 2019: “My Twitter is now largely meaningless and neglected.”
Mask has not yet clearly responded to his investment. “Oh, hello,” he tweeted. Laugh.” Twitter, on the other hand, has not reacted. “This poll will have important consequences,” Parag Agrawal , Twitter’s CEO, tweeted in response to Mask’s poll about the edit button. “Please vote carefully.” But some users say the tweet is ironic and not serious. However, we can not draw any definite conclusions about this until more information is released.
Eventually, Ilan Musk joins the board of Twitter , which, although it can play a major role as the largest shareholder in the social network, cannot fulfill all its demands. In addition, it will not be possible to acquire more than 14.9% of the company’s shares as long as it is a member of the board of directors.
What do you think about Ilan Mask investing? What role do you think he will play in the future of Twitter and what changes will he make to this social network?Source: Politico , The Washington Post , Los Angeles Times