Twitter is ablaze with memes, jokes and reactions about the social media giant’s big news, but that’s nothing compared to what’s happening under the hood.
Tesla founder, SpaceX CEO and world's richest man Elon Musk has officially bought out the platform. He paid $54.20 a share, according to a report by the New York Times, which is about 38 percent more than Twitter stock was worth when Musk announced himself as the largest shareholder earlier this month.
It’s reported that Musk plans to take the company private one day.
"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," Musk is quoted in the official announcement. "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."
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means
The social media platform is not as popular with users as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, but it has played a pivotal role in global politics. The ability to Tweet a picture or live-Tweet updates from on-the-ground protests, war zones, disasters and more has turned Twitter into an immediate source of news and perspective for millions, across borders and seas.
"Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is quoted. “Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important."
Of course, Twitter has also wrestled with its place in the free speech world, most notably when the platform banned sitting U.S. President Donald Trump following the attack on the nation’s Capitol on January 6.
No doubt it will be big news every step of the way as Musk plans to shape the platform’s future. Users are already Tweeting up a storm, letting their feelings be heard whatever their opinion.
“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter,” Musk Tweeted shortly after announcing the deal, “because that is what free speech means.”