The world changed last night as Elon Musk wrapped up his Twitter takeover.
Why is it important: One of the most influential communication platforms is now in the hands of an unpredictable leader.
Catch up fast: The almost eight month saga completed Thursday night, a day before today’s court-ordered deadline.
- Its management of account suspensions is the most anticipated.
- Musk said he intends to limit permanent bans and believes in making Twitter a free speech paradiseraising concerns about increasing hate speech and divisiveness.
- Musk also announced today that Twitter would form a content moderation advice and that “no major content or account reinstatement decisions” will occur before it is convened, also before Tweeter“Anyone suspended for minor and questionable reasons will be released from Twitter jail.”
Reality check: Advertising accounts for almost all of Twitter’s revenue, and advertisers are watching Musk’s next moves closely.
- General Motors Friday told CNBC he’s temporarily suspending paid ads on Twitter while he gets a feel for “the direction of the platform under their new ownership.”
- Musk was aware of this kind of riskand wrote to advertisers on Thursday that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hell landscape.”
What to watch: Musk is essentially filling the role of a private equity firm, Bloomberg corporate credit reporter Paula Seligson noted this morning during a Twitter spaces conversation.
- If it does, it will have to significantly reduce costs and increase revenue, she noted.
- Twitter’s debt has grown from about $2 billion to more than $13 billion, with annual interest charges of $1.2 billion going forward, more than 12 times what they currently are, according to Seligson.
The bottom line: For Musk to make Twitter successful, and grow its value so he can one day sell it to public investors — it’s in his interest to keep the content”brand safefor advertisers.
- It is essential that they stay to finance his vision of Twitter, which could be a form of great app.