(CapitalWatch, Oct. 28, Chicago) Trading in Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) concluded Thursday evening as Elon Musk made his final move on the buyout after months of seesaw deliberation worth $44 billion. Within the first day, he ousted Twitter's CEO and CFO. Obviously, changes are coming to the social media platform that counted 238 million daily users in the second quarter. It is certain that Twitter now has its best chance at turning into a 1-billion user network now that Musk is in charge.
Inclusion and parity seem to have been Musk's top concern for Twitter in the past. Musk's "love for humanity," in his words, implies more freedom for the platform, but how far this freedom is going remains a concern. Already, regulators uneasy about the social power and personal data accumulated at Musk's fingertips have warned about consequences for companies posting illegal content, but there is really so much they can do in attempt to stop virality.
Jokes aside, Musk tweeted that he will set up a "content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints" in response to the concerns from officials. He also responded to the pleas from users banned earlier, saying "Anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail." Yet the council will convene first before such decision is made.
Calling himself "Chief Twit" in his Twitter bio, Musk is assuming the role of interim CEO. It is unclear who will step into the roles of Parag Agrawal and Ned Segal, as well as top legal executive Vijaya Gadde and general council Sean Edgett, who were also fired, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Twitter concluded its trading run at $53.70 per share, up 26% year-to-date. It defied the general downtrend amid macro challenges. To compare, social media giant Meta Platforms (Nasdaq: META) lost 71% in market value since early January, while Snap (NYSE: SNAP) tumbled 78%.
Meanwhile, Musk's EV company Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) gained about 2% Friday to close at $228.52 per share. Tesla's $716.1 billion market cap is proof to Musk's ability to monetize, regardless of face value. Sure, social media is no spaceship or electric car – Twitter involves real humans, not hypothetical Martians and the laws of physics. Before the calm, it may get quite stormy.
And we may be certain that Twitter has gone private temporarily. In the next five to ten years, Musk wants to grow Twitter's audience to over 1 billion – that's this much more opportunity for ads. Twitter is no Meta, and Musk is no Zuckerberg – and that may be a good thing.