Elon Musk Really Wants to Turn Twitter Into Wall Street

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What’s the point of an app if you can’t make money on it? Such is the thought process of Twitter owner Elon Musk, as the first part of his grand plan to turn the bird app into the “everything app” will start with transforming the site into yet another stock trading platform.

The company has reportedly put out a call to several fintech giants asking for quotes and plans to build a real-time investment platform on Twitter—or “X” as Musk is calling it. Semafor first reported the news based on a copy of leaked notices, noting that Musk sent them out to several major financial data giants. These requests also specified that the interested bidders need to say how much time and money they’ll commit to building this new super app.

Mind you, he’s not promising to pay anybody for their work. Instead, he’s promising any partners they’ll get access to “hundreds of millions of highly-qualified users.” So yes, all you fintech companies, come to Twitter and we’ll give you access to the likes of Ye, formerly Kanye West.

Otherwise, the request reportedly claimed that Twitter was “the heartbeat of the financial community.” These notices were due last week. It’s unclear which companies received this request, and which ones—if any—sent back proposals.

Gizmodo reached out to Twitter for comment, but we did not immediately hear back. The site’s new automatic response to press inquiries includes the message “We’ll get back to you soon.”

The site already has a few, out-of-the-way crypto and stock trading features with the so-called $Cashtags system. Typing stock tickers into the search with a dollar sign is supposed to show users current stock valuations. That feature was being implemented through data startup TradingView, and users were supposed to click on another button to take them directly to the stock and crypto trading platform Robinhood. Then in April, Twitter announced a partnership with Robinhood competitor eToro that was supposed to connect to the site’s trading platform. Currently, $Cashtags only link to TradingView’s site, and there’s no sign of any Robinhood or eToro integration.

In an email statement, an eToro spokesperson said eToro was “hugely excited to see how X will develop and are in close contact with the team around future projects. In terms of the $cashtag partnership, we are working with X to see how we can extend and potentially deepen this offering.” The spokesperson further called Twitter “an increasingly important part of the DIY investing community.”

With Robinhood and eToro out of the way, Musk would need the platform to effectively compete with both, which is a much larger task than simply integrating their existing sites. Not to mention, his platform will need to compete against the traditional brokers.

That’s not to say a dedicated—or really ravenous—following can’t result in big returns. Just look at Apple’s savings account facilitated through Goldman Sachs. On Wednesday, the company announced Apple fanatics had deposited a total of $10 billion into its high-yield savings accounts. Could the legions of lingering Musk fanboys sporting their blue checkmarks prop up an entire trading platform? Potentially.

In Apple’s case, the savings account has the advantage of being linked to users’ Apple Cash and Apple Wallets. Without a major player behind it, Twitter would need to effectively build everything—including trust—from scratch. Musk himself has come under fire for his past investment advice such as his promotion of the Shiba Inu memecoin, so there’s no telling what kind of stocks he might start promoting from his Twitter account.

Musk compared his plans to the likes of WeChat, the massive China-based app that is used for everything from communications to payments. Musk is obsessed with these kinds of “everything apps,” and he has been since he founded X.com nearly 23 years ago. That company became PayPal after he was voted out as CEO. After he took over Twitter last year, Musk told employees in a town hall that WeChat is “a great, great app” adding “there’s a real opportunity to create that.”

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