Why Advertisers Leaving Twitter Benefits Elon Musk

A new model is required to insulate the company from activist pressure.

It seems like selling blue ticks is only the beginning of Musk’s plans. In a short video released by the company, Musk and his team meditate on the idea of micropayments for paywalled content. Basically, the team are considering whether users might pay a small access fee — in the video they suggest ten cents — for access to a paywalled article at a major media publication.

While the idea is interesting in and of itself — it could have a profound impact on the online media ecosystem — it raises the larger question of whether Twitter might aim to become a payments app. If users needed to upload Twitter credits — ‘blue bucks’ or even ‘cluck bucks’, perhaps — then Twitter will probably need a banking licence. Were this to occur, it is not hard to imagine Twitter transitioning to become an integrated payments and social media app similar to WeChat.

This may be the direction Musk wants to take the company. It would also render Twitter completely resilient to attempts at blackballing it. In fact, if Musk were to turn Twitter into a Western WeChat, it could end up being Twitter that wields market power over other companies, not vice versa.

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