Elon Musk has said Twitter may charge “lightweight” fees for business and government users, in the latest hint of changes the world’s richest person could introduce after completing his takeover of the social media platform.
“Twitter will still be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users,” Musk said in a tweet. In another tweet, he added, “Some income is better than none!”
Musk’s latest suggestion for change on Twitter came as British MPs invited the multi-billionaire to discuss his proposals for the platform in “more depth” before a parliamentary committee.
Tesla’s chief executive has agreed to buy Twitter for $44bn (£35.2bn), in a deal funded by $21bn of his own money, $12.5bn borrowed against its stake in Tesla and the rest constituted by bank loans.
The estimated $1 billion in interest charges tied to the financing sparked speculation that Musk would introduce fees to the platform and cut costs in order to make the deal financially viable. The Wall Street Journal also reported on Tuesday that Musk could bail out Twitter — which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange nine years ago — in a few years once he revamps the company.
In a series of tweets referencing his ambitions for the platform in recent weeks, Musk suggested a number of changes to Twitter, including making the algorithms, which organize what users see on the platform, ” open source” – or transparent for developers and users. It’s also committed to defeating spambots and “authenticating” all humans.
Last week, it was reported that Musk had told banks he would develop new ways to monetize tweets and crack down on executive pay to cut costs for the social media platform.
Musk also told Banks he plans to develop features to boost the company’s revenue, including new ways to make money from tweets that contain important information or go viral, sources told Reuters.
At the annual Met Gala in New York on Monday, Musk said Twitter’s reach was just a “niche” and that he wished a much larger percentage of the American population would participate. Twitter has 229 million daily users worldwide.
In tweets that were later deleted, Musk suggested changes to the platform’s premium subscription service, Twitter Blue, including lowering its price, banning advertising and offering a cryptocurrency payment option. dogecoin.
Meanwhile, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has published a letter inviting Musk to discuss his plans for Twitter with MPs. The letter from its Conservative chairman, Julian Knight, said Musk’s reference to account authentication was of particular interest to the committee, which called for a minimum age verification standard that also protects privacy. .
Knight added, “I… wish to take this opportunity to invite you to address our committee and discuss your proposals in greater depth. I know you’ve expressed your desire for critics to stay on Twitter and this may be an opportunity to respond to any criticism in public.