In the tech world, the media regularly mentions the “PayPal Mafia,” a group of entrepreneurs who were co-founders or employees of PayPal before starting new companies. Those people include investor Peter Thiel, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and YouTube co-founders Jawed Karim, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley. Elon Musk, head of Twitter and Tesla, is also part of this group. Indeed, Musk created X.com, which later merged with another company called Confinity to form PayPal.
Therefore, Musk is no stranger to payments. And under his leadership, Twitter will enter into direct competition with PayPal. This desire to integrate the payment system into the social network was never hidden by Elon Musk. And by the looks of it, whether it’s hell or high water, Twitter pay development continues. A recent article by the Financial Times reports that the social network has begun exploring an architecture that will facilitate payments. This work is overseen by Esther Crawford, one of Elon Musk’s Twitter confidants.
For example, Twitter will work on a “safe” that will protect users’ payment information. And at the regulatory level, too, everything is moving. Back in November, the social network was supposed to begin procedures with the US Treasury to become a payment system. And the filing would also begin, to obtain the necessary licenses in the States. Once authorization is obtained in the United States, Twitter will handle the international formalities.
What will pay on Twitter look like?
According to the FT, Twitter’s payment system will be expanded to support fiat currency. However, this should also allow later integration of cryptocurrencies. The idea would be to allow both e-commerce payments and money transfers between users of the social network. The goal is to generate $1.3 billion in revenue through payments by 2028.
On the other hand, Twitter has huge potential when it comes to payments. Indeed, people are already sharing links to make these payments through third party services on the platform. Therefore, a mechanism integrated directly into a social network should be a hit. Otherwise, this payment system would allow Twitter to create a new source of income, in addition to advertising and its paid subscription.
It’s also part of Elon Musk’s larger project: building an app comparable to China’s WeChat. In China, WeChat is used not only for messaging, it is also a social network, a news source, a means of payment and a “wallet” that allows you to scan tickets, documents, etc. WeChat even includes a physical activity function.
In its Project X, or “app for everything,” WeChat is an inspiration for Elon Musk. And the integration of the payment system in Twitter is a step towards the implementation of this project.