While Elon Musk’s Twitter deal is still stuck in a drama-filled purgatory, the billionaire already has sketched out plans to expand the micro-blogging site’s functionality. A couple of days ago, the 51-year-old posted a Tweet saying, “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.”
So, what is “X, the everything app”? Well, from the looks of it, it sounds like a copy of Tencent’s WeChat app, which is the dominant mode of online communication in China. Musk describes the concept of X as a “super app” that will sort of act like the Swiss army knife of mobile apps, offering services like messaging, social media, e-commerce shopping, and even peer-to-peer payments. Think Google Pay, Facebook and WhatsApp rolled into one.
These “super apps” are fairly popular in Asian countries, mainly because of the bundled functionality they offer. Musk seems to want to replicate that with Twitter, noting that there is no equivalent to WeChat outside of Asia. During a Q&. During a Q&A with Twitter employees back in June, the billionaire said, “You live on WeChat in China.”
This would be in line with Musk’s vision of growing Twitter’s userbase from 237 million to “at least a billion” As per reports, Musk and his inner circle at Twitter toyed around with the idea of adding digital payments to Twitter multiple times, during the litigation phase between him and the social media company.
This won’t be the first time a social media or an online communication app is dipping its toes into peer-to-peer payments. A few months ago, WhatsApp added UPI functionality into its app. Similarly, a couple of years ago, in the United States, Snapchat introduced something similar with “snapcash,” but rolled it back in 2018.
Very recently, both Facebook and Instagram have tried integrating e-commerce shopping on their platforms, to a mixed result. It now remains to be seen if Musk will be able to replicate the same results as WeChat, if and when his Twitter deal goes through.