Elon Musk enters Twitter headquarters to close $44 billion buyout

He wants to multiply the number of users and turn it into a platform with purchases and ensure freedom of expression.

"Chief Twit." This is what Elon Musk added to his Twitter bio. He also changed his location to "Twitter HQ." He posted a video of himself walking into Twitter's headquarters with a sink in his hands, and a smile on his face. Is it because he plans to clean up Big Tech? It's actually a play on words: The video's caption says "entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!"

The Twitter-Musk saga

This Friday, Elon Musk has to close the $44 billion deal to buy the social network. According to The Wall Street Journal, several banks are raising 13 billion dollars to cover part of the payment for the company's acquisition.

Twitter initially rejected the African American billionaire's attempt to buy the company. In a turn of events, Elon Musk asked the company to give him precise information about the number of fake accounts it hosts and their activity. Not happy with the information provided by Twitter, Musk withdrew his offer. The company then took him to court, demanding that he close the deal. Finally, the acquisition of the company will be formalized this Friday at a price of $54.20 per share. 

Hours before Musk arrived to Twitter's headquarters, a report was released revealing that the number heavy tweeters, who generate the bulk of the platform's advertising, is falling. The top 10% of the most active tweeters generate 90 percent of total content and half of its advertising revenue, according to an internal company report which was accessed by Reuters.

Super app

Musk has big plans to change the app. He wants to turn it into what he calls a "super app," increase the number of users from 396 million to 930 million, and increase revenues fivefold. By "super app," Musk means a platform that provides a variety of services, from social networking and conversation to payments and shopping, gaming and networking. The example Musk gives is similar to the Chinese app WeChat, which has 1.2 billion users.

Recently, Elon Musk said he was going to lay off 75% of Twitter's workforce. It is unclear how he wants to combine this with the plans he has for the company's future. Several company employees have sent a letter to Elon Musk asking him not to cut their jobs:

Elon Musk’s plan to lay off 75% of Twitter workers will hurt Twitter’s ability to serve the public conversation. A threat of this magnitude is reckless, undermines our users’ and customers’ trust in our platform, and is a transparent act of worker intimidation.

Free speech

What has caused the biggest stir about Elon Musk's plans is not his economic goals, but his defense of Twitter as a free speech platform. Recently, Musk has again defended the role of the social network in this way: "A beautiful thing about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism – people are able to disseminate news without an establishment bias."

When he made his public offer to buy Twitter, among other considerations, Elon Musk said:

Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.

Another change that Elon Musk could introduce is to make the application code open, as he has suggested in an interview. This would reduce one of the most serious problems with the app, which is the lack of transparency. It would also allow users to report Twitter's flaws and biases.