Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and the owner of Twitter, has rebranded the social media platform to X and announced his plans to transform it into a multipurpose app that can rival China’s WeChat.
Musk said on X that he wanted to create an “everything app” that would allow users to communicate, pay, date, shop, and access various services without leaving the platform. He said he would add “comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world” to X in the coming months.
Musk has previously praised WeChat, a popular app in China that combines messaging, social media, payments, e-commerce, and more. He said that creating something “even close to that with Twitter… would be an immense success”.
WeChat, which is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent, has more than a billion users who rely on it for virtually everything in their daily lives. It is sometimes described as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and PayPal all rolled into one.
Musk bought Twitter last year for $44 billion after a tumultuous bidding process. He said that buying Twitter was an “accelerant” to creating X. However, the company has faced challenges since then, such as losing almost half of its advertising revenue and struggling under a heavy debt load.
Musk’s ambition to build out X as an everything app has drawn comparisons to “super-apps” in Asia, such as Grab in Singapore and Malaysia, or Line in Japan. These apps started as ride-hailing or messaging services and later expanded to offer other features.
However, experts say that it won’t be easy for Musk to achieve his vision for X. He will have to overcome regulatory hurdles, privacy concerns, and competition from other platforms in different markets.