• Elon Musk is looking for new revenue sources for Twitter, and has started to seek regulatory licenses throughout the US in order to enable payment processing.
• A key component of Musk’s strategy to create new revenue sources is the initiative to start accepting payments through the website.
• Musk co-founded one of the earliest online banks, X.com, in 1999 with a grand vision of combining messaging, payments and commerce into one “everything app”.
Elon Musk’s Vision for Twitter Payments
Elon Musk has been seeking out new revenue streams to turn around the company since he purchased it for $44 billion in October last year. As part of his larger strategy to introduce a “everything app” that combines messaging, payments and commerce, Esther Crawford—a rapidly ascending lieutenant of Musk at Twitter—has begun outlining the architecture required to enable payments on site with a small team.
Advertising Revenue Plummets
Since purchasing Twitter, its $5 billion annual advertising revenue has plummeted due to management and content moderation issues. As such, accepting payments through the website is seen as a key component of creating new revenue sources.
X Corporation: The Grand Vision
Musk admitted in August 2020 that he had „a greater vision“ for what his original online bank—X Corporation—could have become back in 1999 when it was first founded. At Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting he said: It’s a pretty grand vision…Twitter would help accelerate that by three to five years without giving any further details at that time.
The Birth of X Corporation
At the height of the initial dot com bubble in early 1999, Musk co-founded one of the first online banks – X Corporation – investing most (if not all) of his after-tax Zip 2 sale earnings into it ($12 million). His ultimate ambition was for X Corporation to develop into a one stop shop for financial services including brokerage and insurance services.
As part of an overall strategy towards creating an “everything app” offering messaging, payments and commerce solutions Elon Musk is pushing forward with plans for enabling payment processing on Twitter amidst declining advertising revenues caused by management issues and content moderation problems.