Elon Musk, the notorious entrepreneur and innovator, has revealed his plans for X, formerly known as Twitter, to evolve into an “everything app”. Beyond its traditional role as a social network, X will now expand to encompass a variety of services, including payments, creator tools, and shopping. Musk, who acquired X over a year ago, has been vocal about his vision for the platform and now, the company is taking concrete steps to make it a reality. X has officially announced their roadmap for the upcoming year, which includes implementing AI-powered experiences and launching a peer-to-peer payment system, among other exciting initiatives.
While Musk is known for his ambitious deadlines, X has been steadily working towards obtaining the necessary licenses to handle payment processing for the past few months. As of December, the company had secured licenses in twelve U.S. states, and has since increased that number to fourteen, with the recent additions of Arkansas and Pennsylvania.
In Musk’s grand scheme for X, users will be able to send and receive money within the platform and easily withdraw the funds to their bank accounts. Musk has even toyed with the idea of offering high-yield money market accounts in the future, in order to encourage users to keep their cash within X.
In a recent blog post, the X team announced that the peer-to-peer payment feature will launch later this year, promising to unlock “more user utility and new opportunities for commerce”. This suggests that the payments feature will be integrated with other X services, such as creator revenue sharing and online shopping. The company also reiterated their commitment to investing in creators, content partnerships, original content, full-funnel ads, and brand safety.
X advertisers have expressed concern over their ads being placed next to toxic or hateful content, despite X’s efforts to prevent such occurrences. As a response, Musk bluntly told these advertisers to “go f***” themselves at a November event. In the wake of advertiser withdrawals, X has pivoted towards smaller, independent brands to fill the gap. However, the company is still actively trying to win back advertisers, as evidenced by a recent post about their initiatives to ensure brand safety for vertical video ads.
The announcement from X today also hinted at the role of AI in the platform’s future, following the release of Musk’s ChatGPT competitor, the feisty Grok chatbot. While details were scarce, the post mentioned that AI will play a significant role in “powering X’s user and advertising experiences”, including enhancing search, improving ads, and providing a deeper understanding of customers. This is likely a reference to AI-powered ad tools that X will be developing.
Musk’s AI company, xAI, will also be a driving force behind recognizable X features like “See Similar Posts”. In the future, xAI will power a feature called “See Dissimilar Posts”, which aims to offer users alternative perspectives and challenge their views. However, this promise may be difficult to fulfill if X continues to suspend journalists from the platform.
X also took the opportunity to highlight their progress over the past year, which includes the launch of long-form video, audio and video calling, X Hiring (job search), expanding Communities, Grok, and creator tools. According to the company, users have watched a whopping “130 years’ worth of videos” that are at least 30 minutes long, and the average length of video calls is 10 minutes. Additionally, over 80,000 creators have received payouts through X’s revenue-sharing program in less than a year’s time, although no specific figures were provided.