He used Twitter to pick people, apparently to make important business decisions. Regulators figuratively spoke of him (more than once) about how they used the social platform to potentially manipulate the markets. And he even said he wants to create his own social platform because owning a digital mouthpiece is like the current version of a mogul (and autocrat) owning his own superyacht.
Now Elon Musk is putting some of his money into what he’s been saying for years. Twitter released a statement today confirming that the SpaceX and Tesla entrepreneur has acquired a 9.2% stake in the company, valued at about $2.9 billion based on Friday’s share price.
The stock purchase confirmations, which were rumored by some last week, sent Twitter’s stock up; This is currently about 23% higher than the closing price on the Friday before the market opened.
The document, signed and dated today by Musk, notes that the stock event actually took place on March 14. In particular, it was noted that as of that date he had purchased 73,486,938 ordinary shares.
The date is notable for being almost 14 days older than Musk. Tweets claimed to have “seriously considered” the idea of launching his own social network. One takeaway is that he appears to have teased the real news here – that he acquired a stake in Twitter – on his own grounds. Once a troll, always a troll.
Since starting a social network from scratch is a long process and there is absolutely no guarantee of success, Musk’s version of building is starting now, in the form of creating a stake in an already existing company – a platform where he has established himself as a power user, no less.
Musk’s fans have taken the opportunity to tweet him in hopes of a response and are following his words religiously on everything from cryptocurrencies and his companies to world affairs. His critics have criticized the way he manipulates situations using the platform, sometimes just for fun. As for Musk himself, it’s hard to define him, but overall he comes across as a moderate approach. This stance is reinforced by his renewed interest in being a social media entrepreneur rather than just a user, with an emphasis on so-called “freedom of speech”.
Some report that these shares will effectively make Musk the largest shareholder of Twitter. What this could mean for Twitter, for Musk, and for the world of reasonable people who aren’t fans of the man remains to be seen. We have contacted the company to confirm this detail and will let you know when we know more.