Well, he’s done it again. Elon Musk has an uncanny and almost unique quality of being able to create viral news events about himself, his companies, or whatever he chooses to discuss at a whim. King Midas himself would have been blown away by the speed Elon Musk manages to transform whatever he tweets into gold. His Twitter buyout may push him in a new direction – social commerce gold.
Twitter social commerce may become bigger than Twitter news
Twitter is undoubtedly the king of global news, and it’s where everybody who is anybody chooses to disseminate information. It's the place where journalists come to find stories, and it's also where stories come to find audiences. Many observers like myself have been wondering for some time as to why Twitter's commercial potential remains untapped. So, why did Elon Musk buy Twitter?
If we put some of his occasional antics and his provocative soundbites to one side, I doubt Musk would have based the reasoning behind his $40 billion dollar investment purely on ideology or a desire to push a certain political agenda.
Apart from continuing to monetize the platform with Twitter ecommerce ads, I believe he'll probably invest more time exploring innovative and solid, scalable business models for Twitter, such as a subscription model.
Twitter ecommerce undervalued for years
One thing's for sure, Twitter is completely undervalued, and it has been for a long time. When you consider that the most influential people on the planet use the platform regularly, it’s hard to understand why it’s so poorly commercialized compared to Meta or Google. It’s the only social media platform that’s just beginning to explore its social commerce potential.
Elon Musk clearly understands this anomaly from his own experience using the platform to promote Tesla and SpaceX. When you think about it, Twitter is probably Tesla’s top marketing channel, and he uses it masterfully to this end. And it doesn’t cost him anything.
Social commerce on Twitter is about to skyrocket
I believe the real potential for Twitter will be in the social commerce area, which will see Musk beginning to compete with some of the planet’s ecommerce giants. It was just last month, the platform announced Twitter Shops and storefronts for mobile, which signaled the start of a move into more commercial opportunities. Don't forget, this was before Elon Musk went public about the takeover.
But this wasn’t the first commerce move from Twitter. As I discussed in my 2022 commerce trends blog earlier this year, livestream TV and events are going to be big. And Twitter has been in on that action since November 2021, when they hosted an influencer-hosted event selling products for the US retailing giant Walmart. You can expect a lot more of this in the future. Twitter will more than likely start charging influencers and brands for the huge audience reach the platform provides them.
I am also really curious about how Web3 elements might be introduced to Twitter. Remember, Elon is a big blockchain enthusiast, and whatever he's interested in usually becomes a big thing. So, watch this space.
At the end of the day – beyond the noise and pageantry – Elon Musk is a software entrepreneur at heart. I think he’s now going back to his roots which reach all the way back to his days at PayPal. Considering Twitter hasn’t lived up to its full commerce potential, I expect this deal will be a big win for Twitter.