June 19, 2022
This Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke at his first all-hands meeting with Twitter’s employees answering many questions about how he plans to run the social media company.
Elon has agreed to purchase Twitter for roughly $44 billion and during the meeting, Musk suggested integrating payments into Twitter. Leslie Berland, Twitter's CMO, asked Elon about Twitter and payments, who replied “money is fundamentally digital at this point and has been for a while,” and suggested “It would make sense to integrate payments into Twitter, so it’s easy to send money back and forth, and fiat currency as well as crypto — essentially, whatever somebody would find useful.
”Musk also has stated in the past that he wishes to see $15 million in payments revenue by 2023 growing to a heaping $1.3 billion by 2028.Musk is no stranger to payments having founded and sold PayPal for $170 million in the past.He wants to grow Twitter into a super-app similar to Chinese super-apps and suggested modeling Twitter after WeChat, which includes chat, video messaging, news feeds, and shopping among other capabilities.
“If you’re in China, you kind of live on WeChat,” he said. “It does everything — sort of like Twitter, plus PayPal, plus a whole bunch of things, and all rolled into one, with a great interface.”
“So my goal would be to maximize the usefulness of the service — the more useful it is, the better. And if one can use it to make convenient payments, that’s an increase in usefulness,” he clarified.
Elon also stated that this would require a “high-trust situation”, declaring that botsare a huge issue as they have been a large part of crypto scams on Twitter. He’s suggested in the past, to require user authentication to combat this, however scams are also being carried out by actual humans in addition to bots.
Introducing payments to Twitter would not only open doors for revenue and Crypto usefulness but it would also allow for better user verification through know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) regulatory requirements. These would be obvious solutions required for both user authentication and payments usage.
Twitter has already made moves towards payments starting slowly in 2021 when they added the tipping feature. This included Bitcoin and Ethereum and could be a growth point for crypto as currency.
Twitter was also Stripe's first customer when they added cryptocurrency capabilities to their Stripe Connect platform. Although the use case for Stripe’s payment platform is currently targeted at creators on the app, there’s lots of growth opportunity as Twitter expands its app inline to Musk’s vision to become a super app like WeChat.