Following six months of dramatic legal back-and-forth, Elon Musk is now at the helm of Twitter after closing his blockbuster $44 billion deal.
The billionaire now plans to take over as CEO, according to Bloomberg. Musk separately holds CEO positions at Tesla and SpaceX.
He’s already sacked top bosses CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal, according to multiple reports. Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head legal and policy executive, and general counsel Sean Edgett are also out.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone acknowledged their contributions in a tweet on Friday. Meanwhile, Musk tweeted “the bird is freed” in an apparent reference to Twitter’s new era.
His arrival at the company headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday sparked speculation about his plans for the popular microblogging platform. Some crypto faithfuls believe there’s a good chance he’ll incorporate either cryptocurrencies or decentralized blockchain networks with the site.
Looking forward to seeing the start of something fresh and healing Elon!
Your ideas are those that many are anticipating to reflect what’s best. I wanted to ask if you plan to add more integrations of the Digital Financial System. Such as using Crypto for payments towards ads?
— Raffay Alvi (@raffayalvi) October 27, 2022
At his first Twitter all-hands meeting back in June, Musk discussed the integration of digital payments and cutting out crypto-related scams.
“I think it would make sense to integrate payments into Twitter so that it’s easy to send money back and forth, […] currency as well as crypto,” he said at the time.
Twitter didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment by press time on Musk’s intention to become CEO or his crypto-related future plans.
Twitter announces NFT Tweet Tiles
Despite a hectic week, Twitter rolled out a new feature around NFTs on Friday. The site is piloting a feature called Tweet Tiles to expand links to certain NFT marketplaces, a tweet from Twitter’s developer account revealed.
This integration currently operates with four NFT-related platforms: Magic Eden, Rarible, Dapper Labs and Jump.trade.
Now testing: NFT Tweet Tiles 🚀
Some links to NFTs on @rarible, @MagicEden, @dapperlabs and @Jumptradenft will now show you a larger picture of the NFT alongside details like the title and creator. One more step in our journey to let developers impact the Tweet experience. pic.twitter.com/AkBisciB1i
— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) October 27, 2022
What could be next for Twitter in terms of unique crypto integrations? Social media app Reddit has already launched an NFT marketplace that allows users to purchase blockchain-based avatars.
“No doubt, you can bet that Elon and his team are seeing what’s happening with Reddit and thinking about the possibilities with Twitter,” Mahesh Vellanki, managing partner at crypto venture firm SuperLayer, told Blockworks. “Maybe they’ll choose to incorporate payments, in addition to NFT integrations, perhaps with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network or Solana Pay.”
Vellanki said it’s too early to determine what Musk will do next, but he believes the crypto advocate recognizes the potential for what digital asset technology can do for payments and NFTs.
“Just look at his interest in dogecoin. Yes, it’s a meme coin, but there is power in memes. He understands this power, and so he could very well do something wildly creative with Twitter and its role in meme-focused investing. We are entering a new world, and you can bet that digital assets will play a more prominent role on Twitter,” he added.
Observers weigh what Elon could do with Twitter
Now that Musk is the “Chief Twit” of the firm, he essentially has the liberty to create the “everything app” he envisioned. If that happens, financial services would become a major pillar of the site, echoing China’s WeChat.
There could be an overhaul of Twitter to incorporate Web3 components and to find an equitable way to reward its top creators on the app, according to CoinGecko CEO Bobby Ong.
The company will also no longer be required to report financial information to the Securities and Exchange Commission as it will now operate privately.
Budd White, chief product officer at Tacen, said the crypto advocate’s Twitter takeover could be an important moment for melding crypto-focused technologies with the masses.
“What better way to make big things happen than to totally retool Twitter so as to incorporate digital assets. He could do payments via stablecoins. He could integrate an NFT marketplace. Heck, he could even incorporate a DeFi borrow-lend market that is both crypto-native and unique to Twitter,” White told Blockworks.
Another new feature could be a user taking out a DeFi mortgage on Twitter — something that isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, according to the product expert.