One year into Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the social media platform now called X is now worth almost 65 percent less than when he bought it. But Musk’s plans for the platform are as ambitious as ever, as he plans to introduce multiple new capabilities, including banking, to the site over the next year.
Fidelity bank, an X shareholder, disclosed yesterday (Oct. 30) the value of its X stake was down an additional 8 percent in the quarter ended September. At the new per-share price, X is valued at $19 billion, compared to the $44 billion Musk paid in October 2022. Fidelity contributed $300 million to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.
Musk is struggling to bring advertising revenue to the platform, and he’s been open about this issue on his X account. He posted in September that X’s U.S. ad revenue was down 60 percent year-over-year. Among reasons behind the decline, he blamed Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit combating antisemitism, for scaring off advertisers.
Now he’s testing out new subscription models that would turn X into an entirely paid platform.
On Oct. 27, he introduced a new subscription tier called X Premium, which costs users $16 to use the site without ads, boost replies and access the platform’s full creator tool suite. This was following an announcement earlier this month that X would start charging new users in the Philippines and New Zealand $1 per year to access basic X functions such as liking, replying and reposting.
X is not the only platform working on ad-free subscriptions, Meta (META) announced yesterday that it would start charging European users a monthly fee to use Facebook and Instagram without ads. TikTok also confirmed that it is testing a $4.99 ad-free subscription tier in an English speaking market outside of the U.S.
Despite the numbers, Musk is still trying to turn X into an “everything app” like China’s WeChat where users have capabilities like shopping, payments and social networking all in one. The Verge reported last week that Musk told employees on an all-hands call on Oct. 26 that they will work on turning X into a center for all financial needs within one year. “If it involves money. It’ll be on our platform,” Musk said on the call, according to a recording obtained by The Verge.
In addition, he also recently said X will become a “fully fledged” dating site next year, according to reporting from Insider.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino shared with investors at the beginning of October that the company’s revenue rose in the “high-single digit percentage” in the third quarter, Reuters reported. This is one sign indicating a possible turn for X, which has lost revenue every single quarter since Musk’s takeover.