- Elon Musk teased “X the everything app” following the infamous Twitter deal.
- The service might be similar to the well-known Chinese software WeChat, based on the billionaire’s earlier comments.
- The SpaceX CEO adores the Tencent Holdings Ltd. app, which has developed from a messaging service into a mini-internet used daily by more than a billion Chinese.
- WeChat mini-programs are predicted to have a $240 billion economy and 450 million users in 2021, an increase of 12.5% from the previous year.
- WeChat functions as an all-in-one platform by combining the functionalities of services like Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Instagram, and Substack into a single service.
- WeChat is carefully monitored and controlled; hordes of AI and human reviewers toil to keep it free of content that the nation’s Communist Party deems objectionable.
Elon Musk teased X the everything app, after the famous Twitter deal. According to the billionaire’s prior remarks, the service may resemble the popular Chinese app WeChat.
Elon Musk is planning to release X the everything app, a replica of WeChat
Beyond a single-line tweet, Elon Musk didn’t offer much information. The Tencent Holdings Ltd. app, which has evolved from a messaging service to a mini-internet used everyday by more than a billion Chinese, is adored openly by the SpaceX CEO.
He has expressed thoughts on improving Twitter, saying he wants it to be more like WeChat and TikTok, the popular video-sharing app owned by ByteDance Ltd. that has gained popularity in the US. He also drew comparisons to the so-called “super apps” that are popular in some parts of Asia and allow users to access a variety of services from communications to car summoning using a single smartphone application.
Here are five characteristics of WeChat that Elon Musk may follow:
- It goes well beyond social media. WeChat is a real super-app that millions of people use every day to order food, make reservations at restaurants, and book rides. This is made feasible by a thriving network of “micro programs” or lite apps that link to WeChat’s user interface directly.
- One of China’s largest payment and online finance networks, WeChat is a giant of the fintech industry. Users can borrow money, pay for goods and services, and send money to one another.
- It is a widely used news and entertainment website in the country. In China, as in the US, a large portion of younger users’ news consumption is increasingly coming through their social media feeds.
- Also used by businesses. The economy of WeChat mini-programs is estimated to be worth $240 billion, and in 2021, it will have 450 million users, up 12.5% from the previous year.
- WeChat combines the features of apps like Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Instagram, and Substack into an one service that works as an all-in-one platform.
During Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting in August, Elon Musk emphasized how frequently he uses Twitter and that he has suggestions for how to “radically improve” the social media site. He contrasted his goals for Twitter with the vision he had for X the everything app, a firm he co-founded in 1999 that provided financial services.
But there is one area where Elon Musk, a supporter of internet freedoms, is unlikely to draw inspiration. WeChat is closely watched and filtered; legions of AI and human reviewers work to keep it free of material that the country’s Communist Party considers to be unacceptable. That includes everything from pornographic posts to dissent and government criticism.