Inside Elon Musk’s big plans for Twitter

Inside Elon Musk’s big plans for Twitter

Elon Musk has never been accused of dreaming small. He has reinvented at least two industries with Tesla, his electronic vehicle company, and SpaceX, the rocket company, and now his ambitions carry over to his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

Musk, the world’s richest man, has delivered a pitch speech to investors in recent days outlining his big, some might say incredible, plans for Twitter and his financial goals. The New York Times obtained the presentation. Here’s a look at what Musk sees for the social networking service in the years to come.

In his presentation, Musk claimed that he would increase Twitter’s annual revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year.

Under Musk, advertising would fall to 45 percent of total revenue, down from 90 percent in 2020. By 2028, advertising would generate $12 billion in revenue and subscriptions nearly $10 billion, according to the document. Other revenue would come from businesses such as data licensing.

Musk plans to boost Twitter’s subscription revenue with services like Twitter Blue, for which users pay $3 a month to personalize their experience on the app. According to the pitch deck, Musk expects $69 million in revenue from Twitter Blue by 2025.

A separate product, X Subscribers, would reach $47 million in revenue that same year, according to the document. The document doesn’t detail what X Subscribers was, but Musk has hinted at the introduction of an ad-free experience on Twitter.

Twitter would generate $15 million from a payments business in 2023, according to the document, which would grow to about $1.3 billion by 2028. The company’s payments business today, which includes tips and purchases, is negligible. There has been speculation that Musk could introduce payment capabilities to Twitter as he helped popularize PayPal, the digital payment service.

With all these changes, Musk anticipates that he can raise Twitter’s average revenue per user, a key metric for social media companies, to $30.22 in 2028 from $24.83 last year, according to the document.

By 2025, Musk projects that Twitter will have 11,072 employees, according to the document. That would be an increase of around 7,500 today.

But in between, Musk expects the number to fluctuate, rising to 9,225 employees in 2022, then falling to 8,332 in 2023 before rising again. Musk is likely to lay off workers as part of his acquisition, before bringing in new engineering talent, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Stock-based compensation costs are also expected to rise to just over $3 billion by 2028, from $914 million in 2022.

Twitter will add about $13 billion of debt as part of the Musk buyout plan. But it expects to pay off that debt as free cash flow — a measure of how much money a company has to pay down its debt — grows to $3.2 billion in 2025 and $9.4 billion in 2028, according to the pitch deck. Free cash flow would increase even if operating expenses and costs also increased, according to the document.

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