When The New York Times got its hands on some of Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter, a company that he is in the process of purchasing, you would have been forgiven for thinking that Musk knew what he was buying.
Per the Times’ reporting, we learned that Musk expects to bolster Twitter’s revenue to “$26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year,” while growing the company’s user base from “217 million at the end of last year to nearly 600 million in 2025 and 931 million six years from now,” boosting average revenue per user by nearly $6 over the same time frame.
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Those numbers might have made SPACs blush, but they showed something critical in the Musk pitch: That Twitter had huge amounts of value that he, Musk, could unlock with his plan.
Since then — the Times broke the Musk investor pitch 11 days ago — matters between Musk and the social media company have become tenuous as its potential acquirer took to the company’s service to complain, prod and backtrack.
Musk’s displeasure with Twitter has centered around the issue of bots. Not all bots on Twitter are malicious or bad; some are even entertaining. But too many bots, or even the wrong sort, matter because they can dilute the user experience on the social service by spamming real users and inflate the company’s advertiser-focused metrics.
On May 13, Musk threw the financial world into a frenzy by stating on Twitter that his deal to buy the company was “on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.” Whether he was able to make such a decision is not clear based on the deal documents.
Although he said he was still “committed” to the deal, Musk ran an experiment involving a set of 100 users to see how many were bots.