Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla, has proposed charging commercial and government users a “slight fee” to use Twitter. Musk stated in a tweet on Tuesday that the social media platform will always be free for casual users but maybe a slight cost for commercial and government users. In another tweet, he said, “Some revenue is better than none!”
Twitter announced on April 25 that it had accepted Musk’s $44 billion buyout, subject to regulatory approval. Twitter stated that the deal will be completed in 2022. After the announcement, Musk stated that he wanted to improve the platform by adding new features and making the algorithms open source in order to increase trust, defeat spam bots, and authenticate all humans. While Musk is certain to get creative in figuring out how to monetize Twitter after taking it private, he has made it clear that his primary motivation for purchasing the social media platform is to make it less censorious.
Reuters previously reported that Musk’s Twitter business plans included the ability to generate revenue from viral tweets. According to the report, his plans include charging a fee to third-party websites that want to quote or embed tweets from verified individuals or organizations. When contacted by Reuters, Twitter declined to comment.
Musk proposed changes to the Twitter Blue premium subscription service in tweets that were later deleted, including lowering the price, banning advertising, and allowing users to pay in the cryptocurrency dogecoin.
Also, Musk is rumored to be planning to take Twitter public a few years after the acquisition. While private-equity firms typically spend about five years restructuring a company before re-listing it on the stock exchange, Musk’s tentative three-year timeframe could indicate that he believes he can quickly reform Twitter to improve its profitability, according to the Wall Street Journal.