Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who in addition to being the world’s richest person spends as much time on Twitter as the most hopelessly addicted doomscroller, now owns more of the company than anyone else.
On Monday, Musk revealed that he had recently snapped up 9.2 percent of the company, news that sent its share price soaring.
Last week, Musk — whose feed is a mix of business updates, painfully unfunny Babylon Bee articles, libertarian-leaning political musings, and trollish provocations — polled his 80 million followers on whether he should start his own social-media rival to counter what he sees as Twitter censorship:
But it is difficult to build a new technology platform from scratch, as former president Trump’s travails with TruthSocial illustrate. So Musk is fighting the system from the inside with his purchase, which is worth about $2.9 billion. CNN speculates what that approach could mean for Twitter:
Although a stake of less than 10% in a company is considered “passive” in the eyes of Wall Street, it could signal an effort by Musk to take a more active role in how Twitter is run. That is one of the factors prompting other investors to buy shares and drive up the price early Monday.
Musk has previously pushed for an open-source algorithm, meaning that users could more closely control which tweets they see. (Ex–Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — who owns a mere 2.3 percent of the company — is a fan of the idea.) Musk’s purchase could also inspire other activist investors to get involved, changing the direction of the company in ways that are hard to predict.
Investors do have one firm prediction, though: Musk’s very relatable Twitter addiction is good for business. As of midday Monday, the company’s stock was up more than 27 percent.