Monday, April 25, 2022

Elon Musk Buys Twitter

Twitter (Hacker News):

Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.

Elon Musk:

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.

Frank Thelen:

Inflation ;-)

Twitter: $44 billion (Elon Musk)
Slack: $28 billion (Salesforce)
LinkedIn: $26 billion (Microsoft)
WhatsApp: $19 billion (FB)
Skype: $8.5 billion (Microsoft)
YouTube: $1.65 billion (Google)
Tumblr: $1.1 billion (Yahoo)
Instagram: $1 billion (FB)

Casey Newton:

After the announcement, sentiment in the public Slack channels remained largely concerned and negative, employees told me. “I was kind of surprised how much people seemed like they were giving up,” one told me. “Big bummer.”

But in one-on-one discussions, responses were more tempered. Some employees I’ve spoken with are open to the idea that a private Twitter run by Musk stands a better chance of improving the service than would a public company beholden to its shareholders. They like the fact that he wants to eliminate harmful bots and bring more clarity to how recommendation algorithms work.


In the meantime, the other big question looming over all this is who will run Twitter day to day.

Update (2022-04-26): Jack Dorsey:

The idea and service is all that matters to me, and I will do whatever it takes to protect both. Twitter as a company has always been my sole issue and my biggest regret. It has been owned by Wall Street and the ad model. Taking it back from Wall Street is the correct first step.

In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter. It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness.

Elon’s goal of creating a platform that is “maximally trusted and broadly inclusive” is the right one. This is also @paraga’s goal, and why I chose him. Thank you both for getting the company out of an impossible situation. This is the right path...I believe it with all my heart.

Greg Roumeliotis:

The Twitter transaction was approved by the company’s board and is now subject to a shareholder vote. No regulatory hurdles are expected, analysts said.

See also:

Update (2022-05-09): Mike Davidson:

Some people — although no employees I am aware of — seem to think this is the greatest news in the world. Some people think it’s the worst news they could imagine. Is it possible though that it’s neither? According to Costolo’s Razor, this is probably the case… but we can’t say with certainty until we know.

I have several things I’m very worried about, and also several reasons why I think things might turn out okay anyway.

Update (2022-08-25): Felix Salmon (Hacker News):

Elon Musk has a “right not to consummate” his acquisition of Twitter and a “right to terminate the merger agreement,” according to a letter from his lawyers to the Twitter general counsel Vijaya Gadde sent Monday morning.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

At very list it will be refreshing.
Twitter is a poorly done product from UX point of view, it needs a big change.
We all will either enjoy a better twitter or would see a good example of how big moves like that can go wrong.

Old Unix Geek

"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"

Yes. Unfortunately we're not at a stage of generalized technical savvy that most people could use an open P2P discussion network, so Twitter is it. It would be good if Elon were able to move Twitter towards such an open system as I believe Jack Dorsey has talked about doing.

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