Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is as addicted to social media as anyone else. With 80 million followers on Twitter, Musk is an avid tweeter. However, in recent weeks, the multi-billionaire has expressed a desire to create his own social media platform, much like former president Donald Trump.
However, instead of creating a new social media company from scratch, Musk has done what he's always done. Just like Tesla and Neuralink, Musk has now purchased a major stake in Twitter in order to push forward his ideas.
How much did Elon Musk spend on Twitter?
Via BBC, Elon Musk purchased a massive amount of Twitter shares. On March 14th, the Tesla CEO bought 73,486,938 shares in his social media platform of choice. Musk purchased the shares before a recent online rant about the company.
Musk’s massive purchase makes him one of the largest shareholders of Twitter. With a 9.2% stake in the company, the billionaire has a larger stake than founder Jack Dorsey. The Tesla CEO has around four times Dorsey’s stake.
According to The Securities and Exchange Commission, the purchase is worth $2.89 billion. This purchase saw Twitter’s share prices skyrocket. After Musk’s 9% stake, pre-market growth on Twitter stocks rose by 25%.
At the moment, Musk's massive stake does not give him ultimate control of the social media platform. However, it will give him substantial sway within the company. Additionally, many are concerned as to what his sway will bring to the platform.
The Murdoch of social media?
Of course, Musk’s purchase of Twitter shares isn't quite the buyout many believe it to be. However, experts speaking to CNBC believe that this could be the start of a Musk-owned Twitter some time in the future.
Just last week, Musk took to Twitter to explain that he believes Twitter doesn't adhere to free speech. This tweet could refer to the company's stance of tackling far-right hate speech, or its removal of a recent Musk tweet referencing Adolf Hitler.
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” the billionaire asked fans. “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?”
Speaking to CNBC, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives explained that Musk “could try to take a more aggressive stance on Twitter”. The analyst claimed that this could eventually “lead to some sort of buyout. This makes sense given what Musk has at least been talking about.”
If Elon Musk does buy Twitter, the platform could become a modernised version of the Murdoch media empire. After all, when a single rich person owns a platform for the people, it usually ends up becoming the opposite of that.