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Twitter IPO: Could Elon Musk’s reinvented TWTR as X everything app return to the market?

By Jenal Mehta

12:29, 3 November 2022

Chief Twit
The Tesla owner has now taken on Twitter. Will Project X, Vine and Twitter Blue be successful? Photo - Getty Images

Tesla (TSLA) founder and chief executive Elon Musk has been very busy ever since his $44bn Twitter takeover deal closed on 27 October 2022.

In the few days since, Musk has already tweeted about cost cutting plans, a subscription model for existing users of Twitter, and potentially turning Twitter into an online “town house” via an app known simply as X.

However, tweeting on these topics is a lot easier than actually achieving them. And with these decisions already potentially having a negative impact on profits, it raises the question of whether Musk is aiming to take Twitter public again.

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Project X and Twitter Blue

Musk first purchased the x.com domain name back in 1999 and used it for a financial service start-up, which was eventually combined with another company now known as PayPal (PYPL). After the Twitter deal was approved, Musk tweeted his plan to revive the x.com site again.

Since then he has also teased followers about bringing back Vine, which was owned by Twitter before it was shut down. This may also serve his ambition to create the everything app.

As of now, one of the big changes Musk plans to make on Twitter is around introducing a subscription tier, in which the users who currently have a blue tick will need to pay $8 to maintain it. Originally pricing it at $20, even the $8 subscription suggestion has not been received well.

Brands pull ads from Twitter

Meanwhile, Musk’s ambition to protect free speech on Twitter has also seen some pushback.

While the idea may seem noble on the surface, some users and advertisers have suggested that without some kind of policing it may prove to be difficult to avoid making it a toxic 'hellscape'.

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If this does occur, brands which currently use Twitter as an advertising tool may not remain confident in Twitter’s ability to provide them a guaranteed positive outreach.

Indeed, this may already be having negative consequences for Twitter. The Financial Times reported this week that L’Oréal (OR) has pulled ads from Twitter due to concerns over the environment on the social media site now that Musk has taken over.

Advertisers globally said that many businesses are concerned about inappropriate content spreading on the site, and are now quietly distancing themselves.

Prior to the takeover, brand ads were the highest source of income for Twitter. In the second quarter 2022, Twitter earned just shy of $1.2 bn in revenue, and of that $1bn was earned through ads.

Will Twitter go public again?

Wall Street Journal reported that prior to the deal closing, Musk had told investors that he may make Twitter a public company again in just a few years after the takeover.

Like other statements made by Musk during this Twitter saga, it is hard to know if he said this in earnest or whether it was to keep investors momentarily happy.

But If ad revenues dry up and Musk’s subscription model fails to generate income, Musk may have no other option but to re-float the company.

Markets in this article

PYPL
PayPal Holdings (Extended Hours)
61.00 USD
-1.05 -1.690%
TSLA
Tesla Inc (Extended Hours)
175.57 USD
-0.62 -0.350%
OR
L'Oreal
440.85 USD
-5.3 -1.190%

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