For Musk, X Means Everything

For Musk, X Means Everything

Shortly before Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion, the Tesla CEO hinted at his plans for the social media platform. “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” Musk tweeted on October 4, 2022.

So far, Musk has delivered. X, nee Twitter, has obtained money-transmitter licenses from more than a dozen states, including Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Wyoming, since April 2023.

The state-by-state approval process is critical for Musk, who wishes to mimic the all-in-one capabilities of WeChat, a so-called super app developed by Tencent Holdings.

WeChat currently services some 1.3 billion Chinese mobile users. Its payment offering is just one of its many functions.

At first, Musk’s ambitions seemed like a head-scratcher. After all, several other payment apps—PayPal, Venmo and Zelle—have already achieved mainstream status.

X has lost a significant amount of revenue ever since Musk took over. Even though Linda Yaccarino is CEO, Musk remains at the helm as owner and executive chair, and his controversial statements have seemingly soured relationships with some of the platform’s biggest ad spenders, including Apple, Comcast, Disney, IBM, Lionsgate, Paramount and Warner Bros.

If Musk’s vision for an “everything app” comes to fruition, it alleviates X’s dependency on ads and users signing up for one of its tier plans.

It also allows Musk to save face. It was roughly 25 years ago when he founded the original As an early dot-com entrepreneur, he intended to use the domain name for an online financial services startup.

The first merged with Peter Thiel’s Confinity, which would officially change its name to PayPal. A peeved Musk, who preferred the name X, left the company.  By 2017, Musk purchased back from PayPal for an undisclosed price. “Thanks, PayPal, for allowing me to buy back!” he tweeted at the time. “No plans right now, but it has great sentimental value to me.”