March 25, 2023

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Reuters: Elon Musk wants to develop “a good app for everything”. What is this and what is the reason

Why is Elon Musk suddenly thinking of creating “one good app for everything” and what does this mean? The question came up on Tuesday after Tesla’s billionaire CEO backtracked on his earlier decision not to buy Twitter.

Musk is now willing to go ahead with his original plan to buy the social media company for $44 billion and tweeted late Tuesday: “Buying Twitter is an accelerator for creating X, the good app for everything“.

The concept of universal application, often referred to as “a great application”, is very popular in Asia, and tech companies around the world have tried to replicate it.

What a super app

A super app, or what Musk calls a “good app to all”, has been described as the Swiss Army Knife of mobile applications, offering a suite of user services such as messaging, social networking, peer-to-peer payments and e-commerce

These mega-apps are widely used in Asia because mobile is the primary form of Internet access for many people in the region, Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University and co-host of the technology podcast, wrote last year.Pivot“.

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Examples of super apps

The Chinese super app WeChat has over 1 billion monthly users, according to one estimate, and is a ubiquitous part of daily life in China.

Users can call a car or taxi, send money to friends and family, or make payments in stores.

In 2018, some Chinese cities began testing WeChat for an electronic identification system that would be linked to user accounts, according to the South China Morning Post.

Grab, a leading super app in Southeast Asia, offers food delivery, transportation, on-demand package delivery, and financial and investment services.

Why Musk wants to make a super app

During a question-and-answer session with Twitter employees in June, Musk noted that there is no equivalent for a super app like WeChat outside of Asia.

You basically live on WeChat in China“, he said, adding that he saw an opportunity to create such an application.

Adding more tools and services to Twitter could help Musk achieve his lofty growth goals for the company.

During the Q&A session with employees, Musk said he wants Twitter to grow from 237 million users to “at least a billion”.

Musk and members of his inner circle have messaged multiple times about the idea of ​​adding a digital payments feature to Twitter, according to messages released in the discovery phase of the dispute between Musk and the social media company.

Other US tech companies have tried this

Yes, Snap Inc, Snapchat’s parent company, previously introduced peer-to-peer payments called Snapcash, but shut down the feature in 2018. It also made a foray into mobile gaming, but recently closed that business as well, as part of cost reduction plans.

Facebook and Instagram, divisions of Meta Platforms, have also tried to expand beyond social networking and messaging into e-commerce.

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