Elon Musk is taking WeChat as inspiration as he designs Twitter’s future. The tech mogul has only provided a few details about his goal of creating an app for everything, experts warn it won’t be simple to accomplish.
After purchasing Twitter, Tesla CEO stated late Tuesday that he intended to develop a new app dubbed “X”.
“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” he tweeted.
Musk’s statement followed reports that he had once again changed his mind and chosen to proceed with his offer to purchase Twitter for $44 billion, which was the sum originally agreed upon back in April.
After months of conflict and sour U-turns, the acquisition would give the world’s richest man control over one of the most important social networks.
Now, analogies to “super-apps” in Asia, which are effectively one-stop shops that do it all for customers, have been made between Musk’s ambition to build out what is thought to be a versatile platform.
More than a billion users, mostly in mainland China, rely on the social network to perform almost all of their daily tasks without ever leaving the app, including ordering groceries, scheduling yoga classes, and paying bills.
People have also flocked to apps like Grab (GRAB) in Singapore and Malaysia and Line in Japan in other parts of Asia. While Line became well-known as a chat app, Grab was first best recognised as a ride-hailing service provider. Both have now greatly expanded to include additional functions.
Musk hasn’t held back when it comes to his goal to duplicate WeChat’s success. He compared Twitter’s potential to that of Tencent’s pervasive service in China in a town hall with Twitter staff in June.
“I think an important goal for Twitter would be to try to include as much of the country, as much of the world, as possible,” said Musk. “You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so usable and helpful to daily life, and I think if we can achieve that, or even get close to that at Twitter, it would be an immense success.”
Several well-known US tech leaders have followed China’s approach, including Elon Musk: Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook (FB), had previously said that his business could use WeChat as a case study.