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Elon Musk Angling Twitter To Be The Largest Financial Institution In The World

Musk's take on Twitter making it a financial institution as the largest in the world where he has already set up shop to compete

In a Tuesday presentation by Elon Musk and Morgan Stanley for Twitter’s private investors, Musk emphasized the importance of Twitter as a source of truth, stressing the need for timely and accurate information even if it is unpleasant.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building on January 24, 2023, in San Francisco, California. His plans for Twitter include creating the social giant as the biggest financial institution. JUSTIN SULLIVAN/BENZINGA

The Twitter owner said the platform enables the public to control the narrative, making it a platform for citizen journalism and public communication unlike anything seen before.

Musk said he sees Twitter’s commitment to free speech and a level playing field as essential for functioning democracies, mentioning the First Amendment. 

The Twitter CEO had previously slammed corporate journalism not siding with the people he stated in late 2022.

“As Twitter pursues the goal of elevating citizen journalism,” Musk said in a tweet. “Media elite will try everything to stop that from happening”

He said that Twitter should be a place for authentic, informative and entertaining content, even if it is controversial or uncomfortable.

While advertisers have the ability to choose what content their ads are near, Musk said he believes that Twitter’s content needs to remain truthful and informative.

Musk also discussed the power of Twitter in providing real-time news and information. He contrasted the traditional media’s delayed reporting with Twitter’s immediate updates, pointing out that Twitter can often be the first place major news is reported.

Yet Musk also noted the risk of misinformation spreading on Twitter, and that people should be skeptical of news stories about Twitter.

On revenues, Musk said that Twitter has the potential to increase its revenue by serving ads that are relevant and useful to its users, noting that it now makes 5 to 6 cents per hour of human attention despite having 120 to 130 million hours of human attention per day.

In a speaking engagement, Musk has stated that Twitter could see a positive cash in the next quarter of 2023, according to Reuters.

The Morgan Stanley headquarters building is seen on January 17, 2023, in New York City. Morgan Stanley reported a more than $2 billion in profit for the fourth quarter, giving the company a 40 percent decline from the previous year. Musk has stated that Twitter has improved financially after making big cuts at a speaking engagement hosted by Morgan Stanley. MICHAEL M SANTIAGO/BENZINGA

The billionaire said he sees revenues increasing to at least 15 to 20 cents per hour, per user, considering Twitter’s user base of “smart and influential people” who he said are valuable to advertisers.

On the topic of advertising, Musk spoke about Twitter’s value, with 147 billion impressions during the World Cup, 50% year-over-year growth in NFL video views and a 39% increase in Super Bowl mentions.

Twitter’s brand safety and its focus on relevant advertising were also highlighted, with Musk stating the company is looking to introduce performance-based advertising immediately after the acquisition closes. The goal is to become cash flow positive next quarter, which will depend on the advertiser response, he said. 

Musk acknowledged that Twitter was in a dire situation when he joined, with a negative $3-billion revenue rate and $1 billion in the bank.

“The company will soon “be owned by the large institutions and offshore entities that lent most of the capital required for Musk to buy Twitter,” said William Mills, a public relations executive who commented on Musk’s take-over.

Earlier in the year, Endeavor Holdings Group, an entertainment group that owns the UFC and William Morris Endeavor headed by Ari Emanuel, made an investment in Twitter earlier this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

No amount was disclosed how stake was involved by Endeavor.

The company has since cut down its expenses significantly, reducing its cloud expenditures and increasing the speed of its product evolution.

The focus is now on growing into something “spectacular,” Musk said, reiterating that Twitter is a platform the world needs.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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